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depressive tendencies and study abroad?

Travel Forums General Talk depressive tendencies and study abroad?

1. Posted by fahid (Budding Member 8 posts) 6y

Hello everyone...

I'm from Canada, was planning to go on a study abroad session next semester to Ifrane, Morocco. I've suffered from depression/anxiety in the past (and its still sort of there - but I can cope much better), and I guess I'm curious on other people's perspective on this...I'm 22 btw...

I've wanted to go to Morocco for a while, and strangely the opportunity came up through my international office...the plan was to go on an exchange abroad to Morocco @ Al-Akhawayn university in Ifrane...I have odd (to some) fantasies about staying with bedouins in a tent in a search of self-discovery. I just feel for some reason that there is something in Morocco that I'm supposed to see, though unsure what...

I guess my main fear is that my 'sad tendencies' will spark up in a totally new environment, though I'd like to think I'm up for the challenge, and I'm a pretty self-aware person that at the end of the day, can handle himself. I am muslim, but I don't speak french or arabic...

Well, what do you travelled souls think?

Thanks, F

2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 6y

Good question. First of all, let me congratulate you on getting what sounds like an excellent opportunity.

Moving to a new country (even if just for a semester) will likely cause you a number of emotions as you get used to living there. They'll be times when the excitement and joy will be quite high, and others when homesickness and sadness will take hold. I'd expect that you'll experience high and lows unlike you might get at home. I'm a pretty optimistic guy, and even I had some pretty disheartening moments when I first moved.

That being said, because you'll be studying you'll have a built in opportunity to meet people and make friends. That will help, as you won't be lonely and you'll start to build a support system.

Also, I have found that bad moments are fleeting, as there is a lot more interesting opportunities to see new things and learn new things about a new culture. I've found that as I have settled in to living abroad, I am a generally happier and more contented person.

I don't know if you'll have the same experience. There's probably only one way to find out - and that is to go and try it.

Remember, worse comes to worst, you can always go home.

Best of luck,
Greg

3. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 6y

I would say got for it...the sun is very beneficial to lighten someones mood, so perhaps it may help you to move to a sunnier climate than Canada to help your depression. The sun is very good for us and that is something we seem to all forget with all the stories about skin cancer (skin cancer is of course terrible). Slap the suncream on and go out and enjoy the sun and the culture of Morroco, it seems a great opportunity. I have left my home country of the UK and I now live in S Korea and I really recommend trying out new countries as you will have some amazing experiences that can't be had with a 2 week holiday. Good luck to you sir!

4. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 6y

You probably have coping mechanisms that you use every day to deal with your depression and anxiety. You should simply use these mechanisms in your new travel environment. It should be no different.

Also, the more concerning thing is that if you want to go and you don't go, then the drepression / anxiety has won out and deprived you of some amazing experiences. This would not want to become a downward spiral.

5. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 6y

I guess my main fear is that my 'sad tendencies' will spark up in a totally new environment,

That is a risk that you have to take, I am afraid. I strongly recommend that go anyway, because if you don't depression will dictate your life - and I thought you wanted to stop that?

I have had similar problems, I still tend to get travelling blues about 2-3 weeks into the trip. My worst time was indeed when I was 21 and away for 4 months studying abroad in Palestine. But I was sad to go home too - I had found new friends while being there and knowing I would probably never see them again was hard.

One tip I have for you is that when things seem very difficult remind yourself that this is temporary, that you will be going back home in a foreseable amount of time.

I have odd (to some) fantasies about staying with bedouins in a tent in a search of self-discovery.

Not going to happen in Ifrane. Read up on the place on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ifrane

I just feel for some reason that there is something in Morocco that I'm supposed to see, though unsure what...

Allah knows best. Maybe it is your destiny to go to Morocco, have you thought of that?

6. Posted by fahid (Budding Member 8 posts) 6y

Wow,

thanks alot for the responses everyone. your input and others has made me much less anxious about going! thank you.

t_maia, good point. i have read quite a bit about ifrane, so yeah the the snow part will suck as in vancouver...on the other hand, there's a few weeks off during the semester, and i plan on making my course schedule such that i could have fridays off perhaps...and go to other parts of morocco hopefully...

ps, oddly the fact that im a canadian muslim makes me more nervous about the airports there...has anyone had any exp. travelling there?

thanks alot again everyone, f

7. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 6y

Some good advice above-I suggest bringing some favourite music, during down moments I find music is a great healer.