To Survive Study Abroad You are Going to Need A Sanctuary

Aw man, it’s Monday. Let’s forget that school is about to start in force and have a lil chat over a cuppa. Shall we?

study abroad sanctuary

As soon as I moved across the ocean, I began to appreciate my home more. That is not a complaint or a longing, just an observation. I am happy to be here in Wales… so incredibly happy. But I cannot deny that I miss my home.

A home, in my opinion, is a place where you are completely one hundred percent with no exceptions comfortable.

So if you are away from home, away from the people and rooms where you are free to be as ridiculous, silly, and stupid as you want to be, you are going to need a sanctuary.

The Cambridge dictionary does a fairly good job of defining sanctuary:

protection or a ​safe ​place, ​especially for someone or something being ​chased or ​hunted.

Through the busy school year, it is easy to feel chased by deadlines, assignments, and social obligations. With all those things swirling around, you may become overwhelmed or even slowly slip into misery without noticing for want of time.

Normally, your home would be the place you could run to on the weekends to escape the bounty hunter of reality. If you are studying far away, particularly if you are studying abroad, it is difficult to find a home.

You need to make sure you have a sanctuary. A place you can always run to when you need to run somewhere.

study abroad sanctuary

It could be your cutely decorated dorm room, but probably not, since that is an easy place for worries to find you (And let’s face it, not all of us *points finger at myself* are gifted in the art of ‘cutely decorating’.)

It could be a local cafe, a nook in the library, or (my personal recommendation for perfect solitude) a local graveyard. Is it weird that I have an unusual love for hanging out in graveyards? That should probably be a whole ‘nother blog post.

It doesn’t really matter where. You just need one place where you can be completely one hundred percent with no exceptions comfortable.

How do you find your sanctuary? Pretty simple, EXPLORE. Almost every town and campus has hidden gems, a forgotten swing behind the chemistry building or a floor in the library nobody uses. It is a shame that so many campuses have fantastic places that are completely unknown to students who live their life from dorm to cafeteria to classroom without any room for the imagination or any time for rambling the campus.

So far I’ve found a few potential sanctuaries:

  1. The family I live with owns a farm just outside the city. They often let me tag along when they go visit on the weekends.
  2. The chemistry department at my school has (hands down) the nicest building. Once in a while I pretend to be a snazzy science student and slip in there to sit at a bench in front of the WWII memorial inside. It is a good spot for slowing down to ponder the deeper things of life.
  3. There is a tea and coffee shop right next to the History department. I’m hoping to stay away from it as much as possible until the coldest of winter comes. *clutches money protectively and then shrugs shoulders and buys a chai latte*

Exploring is ever so much fun when you go out with the intention of finding some under appreciated nook that you can claim as your own.

Adventure is out there!

Author: Susanna

I'm Susanna, a 20-year-old Christian girl incorrigibly addicted spontaneous adventures. My first dream was to become a pioneer. Unfortunately, I was born a couple centuries late, so I've decided to read, cook, run, and travel the world until my time machine is finished. You'll mostly likely find me getting into trouble and/or eating licorice. I am currently blogging the misadventures of a middle-school teacher in training. Come join me on my quest to become the next Ms. Frizzle!

12 thoughts on “To Survive Study Abroad You are Going to Need A Sanctuary”

  1. susanna. no. way. i don’t know if it’s funny or just plain weird that i’ve had a post entitled “home” in my drafts much like this one, for about 2 months. waiting to be finished but i could never find the right words. sometimes the ways in which our brains are connected is just wild. i’m definitely going to go work on it again now. your post has inspired me. thanks for being man home-girl 😉


  2. This is such a great post! I don’t know if I have a sanctuary, but I definitely need to find one. I love the idea of wondering around and exploring. My friends and I are making an effort to explore our city this year, and it’s been great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. DO IT! It is so easy to get trapped into a work flow that consists of going to the same places everyday. I am also trying my best to explore my new surroundings in little bits and pieces between classes.


  3. I’ve never thought of home as being always comfortable, no exceptions… I’ve never defined it like that. XD (And, to be fair, if I used that definition I would not have a home, I guess). Still, even when you are far from yours and enjoying a lot of new experiences, I’m glad you’re finding refuge from the storm and taking care of yourself all the while. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suppose home means different things to different people. But isn’t it important for everyone to have a place where they feel completely comfortable to be themselves? Now I am really curious. What would your definition of home be?


  4. I love this post because it shows me that despite all the difficulties you are finding out ways to make yourself feel at home there. Wales is now your new big back yard, full of not imaginary but actual real life adventures! I can’t wait to come and explore it together!


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