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Studying Abroad – FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)



FOMO (Fear of missing out) when studying abroad

Moving to a new country and experiencing a different culture can be really thrilling when studying abroad. The planning, the anticipation and the stepping outside of your comfort zone often carries you along on a wave of excitement until a niggling and uncomfortable sense of missing out kicks in. FOMO or fear of missing out can begin to affect us when we see our friends and loved ones back home continuing on and enjoying life in our absence, sometimes a little too much! This is often triggered by social media posts of events, birthdays and gatherings that we wished we were able to be at too, creating a feeling of distance and sadness.


Do you recognise yourself in these statements?

I should be enjoying myself here but feel like something is missing

I will miss out on so much back home

I wish my friends or family were here so I could enjoy this experience more

I wonder if they miss me

Maybe this isn’t for me and I should go home

If I don’t see them for a while they might forget about me

Everything might be different when I get back


How to manage this

Step outside the comfort zone and introduce yourself to others – students all arrive wanting to make the most of their experience so try to embrace that

Attend events organised by IES and look for events around the city and beyond that might be of interest to you, take the initiative to ask others along too

Turn your FOMO into YOLO (You only live once) by creating some incredible memories – take photos – write about your experiences – plan what you want to do while you are here and mark off each one so your focus shifts from what is happening back home to making the most of your time abroad

Create an online folder or a homemade scrapbook of your experiences to bring home and show family and friends

Try to step back from social media if your FOMO is becoming overwhelming – talk to others about that feeling – most students experience this at one time or another when away from home

Speaking about this will help – contact your family and friends/ arrange skype or phone calls back home – don’t keep those feelings to yourself

Chat to a counsellor in City Therapy about the feelings you have around this – it will help to give you a fresh perspective

For further information contact Christine via our website on this link: