You're not alone in feeling lonely- see how Jaron found connection
Adapting to the unfamiliar and uncomfortable- see how Sarah adjusted while abroad
When your in-group is on the outs- see how Janelle navigated group differences
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.
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
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.
An optimistic attitude promotes psychological well-being. It helps you to challenge unhelpful thinking, improve mood, and identify what is within control.
Self-awareness is a core factor in resilient people. It refers to the knowledge of one's individuality including thoughts, emotions and behaviors.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 is a vital skill for negotiating conflict and maintaining relationships. It focuses on balancing personal needs and wants with those of others.
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 helps facilitate self-soothing by focusing on each breath traveling in and out of the diaphragm for balanced air flow.
To be mindful is to be fully engaged in the present moment. It involves intention, acceptance, non-judgment and gentle curiosity.
Reflection is a way to look at the big picture: it requires awareness of self, others, past and present to promote future change.
Values are self-chosen guiding principles. Values-based action requires an awareness of one’s valued directions and intention for chosen values, despite difficulties.