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Maintaining Relationships Abroad 

By Bobby Kuechenmeister, UWEC Junior

This is an online guide directed toward couples who plan on or already are separated due to a study abroad experience. Although a majority of resources exist for the traveler to cope with the experience, there are few referring to the significant other that is left behind. However, for couples to get through a study abroad experience is not impossible, and with attention to three key areas (communication, the relationship itself, and emotions) the time apart becomes bearable.

Communication


Similar to most long-distance relationships, a key component is communication, which is also a universal requirement for any successful relationship. Recent technology makes keeping in touch easier, despite the distance apart between partners, but there are still pros and cons to every method of communication.Some of the most successful methods include:writing letters, using long-distance calling cards, using e-mail and Instant Messaging, and sending care packages. [more]

Relationship


Another key consideration are issues involving the relationship itself.The difficulty with this is it requires both partners to evaluate the status of their relationship. The importance of understanding such viewpoints is because it makes facing the tougher challenges proposed by the time abroad easier to deal with.Some specific areas to consider discussing with your partner are:possibility of growing apart, dependency, lack of physical interaction, and lack of support from partner. [more]

Emotional


The last type of issue couples should prepare themselves for in a study abroad separation is emotions. Although life for the partner left behind might not progress or change as rapidly as the traveler's, there are common emotions he or she needs to work through, including:loneliness, depression, anxiety, and jealousy. [more]

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