Resilient Traveling

Managing Stress & Enhancing Your Experience Abroad

Resilience is the ability to adapt or rebound quickly from change, illness, stress,
adversity or bad fortune


You're not alone in feeling lonely- see how Jaron found connection

Related Skills

Culture Shock

Adapting to the unfamiliar and uncomfortable- see how Sarah adjusted while abroad

Related Skills

Group Conflict

When your in-group is on the outs- see how Janelle navigated group differences

Related Skills

Personal Struggles

Unexpected obstacles arise- see how Meirav endured a challenging experience

Related Skills

Resiliency Model Click any link to read about the resiliency model.

Resiliency refers to the adaptability of individuals or groups of people after experiencing adverse events.

A resilient person is one who has the ability to be self-aware, to self-regulate, think flexibly and optimistically, and to connect with others to manage stress.

The Five Factors

The five factors shown help foster resiliency. These factors complement and reinforce each other, and can be developed by practicing the skills in the skills section.

  • Connection

    Feeling alone is one of the primary concerns for those traveling abroad. Connectivity to others is closely linked to awareness, regulation, flexible thinking and optimism

  • Flexible thinking

    Rigid ways of thinking give us less choice in our behaviors leading to more subjective distress. Flexible thinking allows for flexible coping and a balanced perspective.

  • Optimism

    An optimistic attitude promotes psychological well-being. It helps you to challenge unhelpful thinking, improve mood, and identify what is within control.

  • Self-awareness

    Self-awareness is a core factor in resilient people. It refers to the knowledge of one's individuality including thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

  • Self-regulation

    The ability to acknowledge and express distress in a way that promotes well-being. It requires self-awareness, flexible thinking, connection and optimism.


Student experiences that reflect situations
encountered abroad.

  • Jaron's Story

    I had to accept that while I might never assimilate into this culture and that Peru may never quite feel like home, I can still engage in some pretty amazing and enriching relationships. I can connect with people around me.

  • Sarah's Story

    Everything was just so overwhelming, I didn't know anybody...but after a couple of months, I decided to accept things and not focus on the things I couldn't change.

  • Janelle's Story

    It was obvious that the common thread between our values and purpose was being overshadowed by all the infighting. We all shared similar values and common purpose. We were in Ghana to make a difference.

  • Meirav's Story

    I could sit here and wallow in my tears and lament over what had happened, or I could choose to accept where I am and continue to make a difference in the lives around me.



Specific skills related to the situations depicted in the student stories.

Skills Click any link to read about the skills involved.

The Skills Involved

The stories suggest a number of specific skills that can help someone prepare for and respond to stressful situations that can be encountered abroad.

  • Assertiveness

    Assertiveness is a vital skill for negotiating conflict and maintaining relationships. It focuses on balancing personal needs and wants with those of others.

  • Cognitive Defusion

    Cognitive Defusion, or thought distancing, is a skill to help manage personal distress. It focuses on recognizing the distance between a person and their thoughts/feelings.

  • Deep Breathing

    Deep breathing helps facilitate self-soothing by focusing on each breath traveling in and out of the diaphragm for balanced air flow.

  • Mindfulness

    To be mindful is to be fully engaged in the present moment. It involves intention, acceptance, non-judgment and gentle curiosity.

  • Reflection

    Reflection is a way to look at the big picture: it requires awareness of self, others, past and present to promote future change.

  • Values-Based Action

    Values are self-chosen guiding principles. Values-based action requires an awareness of one’s valued directions and intention for chosen values, despite difficulties.