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ERIC Number: EJ883698
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 29
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
Over-Stressed, Overwhelmed, and over Here: Resident Directors and the Challenges of Student Mental Health Abroad
Lucas, John
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v18 p187-215 Fall 2009
Foreign language professionals have demonstrated the benefits of learning language in an immersion environment and intercultural specialists can attest to the benefits of exposure to different world views in terms of increased tolerance for ambiguity and acceptance of difference. Study abroad can be a tremendously beneficial and positive experience for undergraduates. As a resident director and professor in Barcelona for more than 13 years, the author steadily encountered more students with incapacitating mental health concerns. This article began from the author's own struggle to help several students abroad suffering from mental illness that taxed his personal and professional resources to their limits. As he reflected on those cases, the author found that little had been written on the role of the resident director in relation to the mental health challenges students may experience while on overseas programs. In this article, the author attempts to state the nature of these issues, examine current research, and present actual cases of study abroad students with whom the author worked on a variety of mental health concerns. The author discusses the challenges for resident directors in dealing with mental health problems overseas. Policy recommendations for education abroad programs as well as recommendations for resident directors are presented. (Contains 3 notes.)
Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain (Barcelona)