How studying abroad may affect your personality

How studying abroad may affect your personality

As some of you may already know, I studied abroad for a semester during the first year of my Master’s studies. While I’ve been back in Belgium for over two years now, I believe my Erasmus experience still has an impact on me and is never far away. By moving 200 kilometers to the North I opened up a whole new world. A world I definitely want to discover. While the experience was nerve wrecking at times and caused a lot of insecurities, it also made me more aware of different cultures. It sparked an interest to learn about the immense diversity and to expand my vision of the world. When I started courses back in Gent, people told me I seemed more open and not as mysterious as before. Not sure if it was meant as a compliment but it sure indicated I had changed. Of course my personal journey of change isn’t enough to conclude on the impact of studying abroad. Luckily some (but not nearly enough) investigation has been done on the subject and I will go through the findings with you now!

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How to grow your resilience while travelling

How to grow your resilience while travelling

Everybody has a history, good and bad experiences, a certain way of seeing the world and interacting with it. This doesn’t have to be a negative thing. We get wiser the more aspects of life we discover and phases we go through. Most experiences make us stronger. Not all of them though. Some life events just leave us devastated and not everybody can overcome the trauma it has caused. This doesn’t mean you’re weak. It just means you didn’t get the needed support in your early life to learn how to deal with these events later on. We don’t choose how resilient we are right now but this doesn’t mean it’s not open to change. While travelling many occasions arise that give us the change to build and grow our resilience. Concepts like thinking patterns, self-esteem and social support are tied together with how well we can handle difficult situations and are the ones I’ll highlight in this blogpost. Click the button to dive in!

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The personal baggage we should leave at home

The personal baggage we should leave at home

It’s very easy to think about our literal luggage and how optimizing this baggage can have a freeing effect on our travels. But what about our emotional carry-on we never seem to shake off? With the years passing by, our emotional baggage only seems to add up. We all have specific patterns of communicating with others, forming relationships, (not) expressing feelings and deciding what’s right or wrong that are the result of our upbringing. Whether we want it to or not, these patterns accompany us on our trips abroad. Read more to learn all about your baggage and how to become more aware of it’s influence.

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Am I still alive?

Am I still alive?

Let me start off by saying; yes, yes I am! But it has indeed been months since I’ve written a blogpost. This doesn’t mean that I haven’t traveled or been busy with psychology, in the contrary! I thought this would be the perfect time to re-introduce myself and explain why I have been this absent (aka all the excuses I’ve made for myself). Read more to discover what I’ve been up to for the past couple of months and what my plans are for 2018. Glad to have you back!

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The paradox of choice

The paradox of choice

I’m sitting in front of my laptop, researching all the places to go and all the amazing cultures to explore. I look up fares for flights to different continents, different dates and different cities within a country. I venture through all the accommodation sites; comparing the possible hostels, hotels or Airbnb places. After days of research, you know where I end up traveling and spending […]

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Coming back is not the same as never leaving – the hardest part of studying abroad

Coming back is not the same as never leaving – the hardest part of studying abroad

Studying abroad. Leaving your safe nest to move away for 6 months, maybe a year, maybe longer. Most of the students at this point are still dependent on their parents or financial aid. The majority of the expats isn’t used to fixing problems themselves, keeping their finances in check and figuring everything out on their own. It’s not their fault, our student years are supposed to […]

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Fear Of Missing Out: are you travelling for the right reasons?

Fear Of Missing Out: are you travelling for the right reasons?

That fear of missing out on things makes you miss out on everything. -Etty Hillesum  In my blogpost about Porto, I mentioned I have some sort of fear of missing out. This fear is defined as a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent and is characterized by the desire to stay constantly connected with what others are […]

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An ode to Porto

An ode to Porto

This is going to be a completely different blogpost than the last one. Like I previously said, I recently went to Porto for 3 days and I wanted to share my experience here! This isn’t going to be a typical, touristic resume of all the places I went to or the must see attractions. I traveled to Porto without any expectations. I didn’t look up […]

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But what is it, travel psychology?

But what is it, travel psychology?

Travel psychology, what is it? You would assume that the internet would be able to give me a clear explanation. But of course, like in all other aspects of psychology, it’s not that clear. You could say travel psychology is a specialized branch of social psychology that focuses on developing knowledge about how our minds and behavior interacts and influences our travel activities and the other way around. The topics of research in this area are very broad. There has been studies to assess how our personalities change while studying abroad and even how the personalities from those people going abroad were already different from the start than from the people who never took this step. There’s loads of research showing how we get more humble, more creative by discovering different places and how travel has positive effects on both our personal and our work-life!

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l’appel du vide – the attraction to and fear of high places. And falling from them.

l’appel du vide – the attraction to and fear of high places. And falling from them.

Here we go with the first real post! A few weeks ago, I went to Porto with my best friend to meet up with a Brazilian guy we hadn’t seen since our adventure in Recife last summer. I will cover this short trip in another blogpost but a conversation I had on the last night got me thinking. I was standing on the Ponte Dom […]

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