The dark side of being an exchange student – Psychological Support for Students

Who among us doesn’t think of parties, jovial aperitifs in crowded squares and day trips with friends when we talk about international exchange experiences?

It is therefore normal that we may feel a little lost and in difficulty in a situation like the present one, in which young and old people have seen their social life and the possibility of making friends reduced in no small measure. And this is just one of the various reasons why an international student might feel in a non-optimal state of psychological well-being, arriving in a new country during a pandemic. All this combined with the intrinsic difficulties that a leap out of one’s comfort zone of such magnitude would have brought with it anyway, regardless of Covid-19.

As the Mentorship team, we thought it would be useful to publicize and encourage the international students of our University to participate in the activities that the SAP BSR (Servizio di Assistenza Psicologica Benessere Senza Rischio – Psychological Well-being Without Risk Service) afferent to the SCUP (Centro Ateneo dei Servizi Clinici Universitari Psicologici – University Clinical Psychological Services Center) organized, free of charge, in English, during the month of May.

We created infographics, as simple and engaging as possible, which we posted on our social channels Instagram and Facebook, in which we invited students to sign up for the two group activities aimed at international students and conducted entirely in English:

– “Living the Erasmus experience in Italy: let’s talk about it together!”

– “Explore your coping strategies: implementing useful approaches to cope with stressful situations”.

The participation was enthusiastic, so much so that the available places were sold out in a short time.

With this small gesture that wanted to express the attention of the University to the psychological well-being of its students, we hope to have offered someone a valuable tool to cope with a situation that may not be easy to face alone.


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