Is Studying Abroad With Your Significant Other Right For You?

Baigin Thiel is a student at the University of Kentucky and an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Barcelona, Spain.

It was absolutely magical to see the Eiffel Tower light up at night in Paris.

The years spent in college are the perfect opportunity to spend time figuring out who you are and what you want for your life. I have found studying abroad to be a pivotal moment in really figuring out who I want to be and the experience I’ve had have totally changed me in the best possible ways.

Let’s rewind to last January. I had decided on ISA Barcelona and I was waiting to be accepted. I was so excited about the opportunity, but also nervous about leaving my family, best friends, and my boyfriend. Somewhere along the way, my boyfriend and I started discussing the possibility of studying abroad together. Ultimately, we decided on going abroad during the same semester, but to different places. Through observing my experience and the experiences of friends that made the decision to study abroad with their significant others, I have come up with a few points of advice if you are considering something similar.

First things first: I have learned that everyone has an opinion about something, whether they care to admit it or not. Relationships are one of the things in life that everyone seems to want to give their two cents about. The truth is, no one really knows what is right and we are all on our own journey of figuring ourselves out. Every relationship is different and what is right for me may not be right for you and vice versa. You have to trust your instincts and do what is best for you.

One of my most memorable weekends was getting to show my boyfriend and my parents around my favorite city.

Before you leave, you each have your own expectations of what you want out of the study abroad experience. Like I said, studying abroad gives you an opportunity to really figure yourself out. In some ways, having your significant other with you can be a little distracting because you might be worried about how your boyfriend or girlfriend is adjusting or what kind of experience they are having instead of worrying about your own experience. I think to avoid any kind of disappointment or frustration, you have to keep open communication with your significant other and understand ahead of time that, while you care about each other, it is so important that you both have your own experience and are your own person. Take the time apart to make new friends and be your own individual.

Going abroad together offers an incredible opportunity to travel and see so many unbelievable places. Traveling changes your life. Something about going through to airport, booking hostels, and planning itineraries without the help of your parents is really liberating. It is really special to check places off your bucket list together and have the opportunity to share the city and culture that has brought so much joy to your life with such an important person in your life. It is great to have someone so close by in your corner that understands what you’re going through.

As with anything in life, you have to do what is best for you. You may not know what that is in the moment but being abroad is the time to really learn to trust your instincts. Whatever you decide, never lose sight of who you are and what you want as individual. When you focus on this, everything else will fall into place.


Your Discovery. Our People… The World Awaits.


Leave a Reply