Hiking with fellow New to Melbourners!Moving alone to another country was pretty scary and overwhelming but also so exciting and exhilarating. Here are my tips for keeping sane while living alone in another country:
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
I’m not usually one for asking help and I fell into some bizarre circumstances that I couldn’t have forseen moving to Australia. I felt like I didn’t want anyone to worry about me and I didn’t want to make my problems anyone else’s so I bottled everything up until I finally hit a breaking point and realized that I wouldn’t make it unless I reached out…It took a couple of weeks to finally seek help, which I reached out to the San Francisco State Study Abroad Advisors letting them know what I was going through, I started seeing a counselor on my host university campus once a week and I made sure to start talking with my friends and family back home more often.
2. Identify what you enjoy doing and do it.
Whether it’s going out or staying in – do what makes you happy. For me, it was a combination of both – when I was feeling a little more mellow, I would comfortably stay in and write. When I was feeling a little more adventurous, I would go out and sightsee and explore. Just don’t get so wrapped up in the stress of being in a new country that you forget to do the little things that you enjoy.
3. Reach out and make new friends.
Definitely make friends with your flatmates – you are going to be living with them after all! But also reach out by joining a club, sport, group, and don’t be afraid to just go out by yourself! I highly recommend liking the New to Melbourne Facebook page which posts about special events and has been a great way for me to meet new people and make some great friends!
The Gilman Scholarship was so helpful in that allowed me the extra funds to go out to events such as the New to Melbourne bar crawl where I met the most welcoming and amazing people and became such great friends! Going out for food or drinks or activities are just some of the best ways to meet and bond with people and I so much appreciate that the funds awarded to me by the Gilman Scholarship allowed me to do so!