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To think a year abroad is a year abroad?

(94 Posts)
Iused2BanOptimist Tue 10-Jul-18 22:36:03

DD1 age 20 is excitedly preparing for an academic year at uni in Canada as part of her degree. She announced the other day she will be home for Christmas. Student loans will pay for two trips on top of the actual there and back apparently. But it all adds to the overall debt and anyway that's not really my point. I just assumed that her year away (which won't be a full year anyway as the academic year is September to April, she'll probably travel a bit and come home in June or July as she has Uni stuff to do here in July) would more or less mean a year away. Her good friend at Uni has gone to Australia and due to the different term times is there already. She won't be coming home for Christmas. It's not that I won't want to see her, but I think it's a bit of a rite of passage, first Christmas away from home. I'd really expect that she'd make friends and plan to do stuff over there. Also flights are really expensive at that time of year, even if it does go on the student loan. Is it a bit mean of me to discourage her from coming back for Christmas? So far I was just surprised and said "oh really?" so I don't think I've put my foot in it yet.

Johnnycomelately1 Tue 10-Jul-18 22:37:56

She should go to Whistler instead

Ishouldntbesolucky Tue 10-Jul-18 22:38:06

I think it's a bit mean! Surely you want to see her?!

It's still a year abroad. What differennce does a week or two at Christmas make to her overall experience?

YoucancallmeVal Tue 10-Jul-18 22:41:54

There's a huge difference between being away and having a life and planning to be away. Maybe she doesn't feel ready to be thousands of miles away yet, so is mitigating her anxiety with a natural break. She's only 20, she is probably already worrying she will miss you so much. She may well get there, have a ball and not want to come back. Play it by ear. It's a long way and a long time, she can't just pop home for a weekend. When she gets there, if she has fun or meets someone special she may never come home, so don't wish her away!

expatmigrant Tue 10-Jul-18 22:42:12

I'm with Johnny grin

hammeringinmyhead Tue 10-Jul-18 22:45:17

I did a year abroad, granted not as far away as that. The uni closed down over Christmas and everyone went home to their families. She might struggle to find similarly unoccupied friends on Christmas Day!

melodybirds Tue 10-Jul-18 22:47:30

I don't see it as undermining her independance abroad necessarily if she wants to come back at xmas.

TroubledLichen Tue 10-Jul-18 22:49:31

I agree with Whistler! But that aside, most students will go home and she’ll probably be all on her own if she doesn’t.

ahouseofleaves Tue 10-Jul-18 22:50:03

I'd be happy she wants to spend Christmas with her family. Her year abroad will still be a great and transformative experience for her, hopefully.

ThinkingCat Tue 10-Jul-18 22:50:33

People normally spend Christmas with family? The other, Canadian students will probably go home to their families. Who are you thinking she would spend Christmas with? Is 'first Christmas away from home' a thing? She's only 20, not 35 with her own children.

melodybirds Tue 10-Jul-18 22:52:10

Agree with hammering. Also did a year away and glad I came back. The flats were empty at xmas. It didn't make me feel less integrated. That depends on your friends and how much advatage you take of social and culture events and generally feeling at home abroad even with a break.

unintentionalthreadkiller Tue 10-Jul-18 22:52:23

I don't see Christmas away from home as a right of passage. Surely it's nice she'd want to be with you?!

Semster Tue 10-Jul-18 22:53:04

She absolutely should go to Whistler or Banff.

Or Quebec City - I've heard it's lovely at Christmas.

Whatever she does, she should buy some really warm clothes and good snow boots unless she's in Vancouver which I'm vaguely thinking might not be so cold in winter as the rest of Canada?

MrTumblesSpottyHag Tue 10-Jul-18 22:54:35

I went to work abroad when I was 19 and had Christmas away. It was horrible, I hated it and was one of the reasons I left early to move back home.

userofthiswebsite Tue 10-Jul-18 22:55:12

On my year abroad, admittedly much closer to the UK, I flitted back home for every holiday break and reading week. Partly to see family and to do a few hours at work. I rather enjoyed zooming back and forth.

TarragonChicken Tue 10-Jul-18 22:57:00

I think I'd advise her to see how things go. She may well still want to come home, but she might also make close friends who are also 1000s of miles from home and not going home for Christmas. In that case Whistler sounds like an excellent idea!

Or would you going out to see her at Christmas be a possibility?

BackforGood Tue 10-Jul-18 22:57:35

Going against the grain here, but I'm with you OP I wouldn't expect her to come home.

OTOH, I might consider going out to stay with her there grin

skinnyamericano Tue 10-Jul-18 22:58:56

Can you go over to her for Christmas?

There’s no way I would have wanted to stay away from family for Christmas at 20. In fact, I came back at every opportunity.

eurochick Tue 10-Jul-18 22:59:17

I did a year abroad (in France). Coming home for Christmas was a huge thing. The first term in a foreign country seems looooong. I was there the year there was a fire in the channel tunnel and various strikes. Local families kindly offered to host us if we were stuck but we were desperate to get home. (We did make it in the end. ). I was in no way tied to the apron strings but I needed a visit home by then.

Johnnycomelately1 Tue 10-Jul-18 23:01:35

I’d get a refundable flight, put it that way.... more sister webt to uni with loads of students on years abroad, they mostly got invites for Christmas and didn’t go back. My mum had randoms every year for 4 years. Good fun.

Bonesy1 Tue 10-Jul-18 23:02:20

My daughter has just returned from a Uni exchange year in Canada. Uni accommodation empties at Christmas and everyone goes home

hammeringinmyhead Tue 10-Jul-18 23:02:28

I was in France too. I really hated it. Christmas break was my salvation!

GabsAlot Tue 10-Jul-18 23:05:44

whats wrong with visiting for xmas-usually people only stay away if they have friends or family to stay with she'll be alone

ICouldBeSomebodyYouKnow Tue 10-Jul-18 23:06:02

DD went to study & work abroad (Europe) at a similar age. I agree with those who say everyone else goes back to family, so she might well be left on her own. Either expect her back (full of stories to share), or plan to go out and spend Christmas over there with her instead.

Parker231 Tue 10-Jul-18 23:10:04

MyDD is starting her Uni year abroad in September. She is coming home for Christmas- she wants to and we want at home for the Christmas break. We are paying for this.

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