Preparing for Study Abroad

Ending a Relationship to Study Abroad

November 9, 2017

Exploring the famous Hosier Lane!

Ending a relationship to study abroad and choosing to say goodbye to someone special to travel halfway across the world by myself was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. We had been happily dating for about nine months before I left for Australia. About a month or so before my departure, we sat down together and had a formal talk about what my study abroad meant for our relationship. We considered our options: 1. Stay together and try to make the international long distance relationship work or 2. Break up.
We decided that we’d rather break up on good terms rather than try to force an international long-distance relationship and potentially break up on bad terms. Knowing that was our ultimate decision, next came the difficulty of deciding whether to just break up sooner or to continue dating until the moment I left town. Here we had different views – my partner preferred to break up earlier to allow us time to heal before my departure whereas I preferred to spend as much time together until my departure. My partner reluctantly agreed to keep dating until my departure but it did create a bit of turbulence in the last few weeks of our relationship.
Sitting in the LAX airport, with my boarding pass in hand knowing that getting on that plane meant that our relationship would be over…I cried and I seriously almost didn’t get on the plane. Even writing about it now is bringing me to tears remembering that heartbreak. But I forced myself to get on the plane knowing that studying abroad was something that I really wanted to do and something that I worked really hard to achieve. Like I said, we broke up on good terms because we felt like it was the right thing to do, not because we wanted to and my partner and I did keep in touch once I got to Australia and we remained very good friends. (Why I’m using past tense, I’ll reveal in my next blog post.)
So I arrived in Australia alone and completely heartbroken. And although I hadn’t been awarded just yet, being awarded the Gilman scholarship soon after my arrival really did aid in my recovery process from my break up. The Gilman scholarship provided that relief of financial stress and allowed me a bit of “fun money” to get myself out of the house and to go out and explore and have fun in an effort to get over my heart break and enjoy my new surroundings. If I didn’t have the Gilman scholarship, I would’ve been so financially stressed and would have most likely opted to stay in and save my money and be tortured with mulling over the relationship. And for that, I say a huge thank you to the Gilman scholarship for helping me to heal my broken heart.

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