Well, we have mixed emotions, but in the end are overjoyed to see our daughter Julie. She is studying abroad this Fall semester and has been out of country for six weeks. We thought she would be gone until mid-December but she has a really bad case of "I miss my boyfriend". Not "I miss my parents" but alas we have to take what we can get I guess.
She will be home for a week (I checked, she has a return ticket) and then will stay with her host until her planned departure date 9 weeks from now. Having been overseas in multiple cities I realize how absolutely isolating the experience can be and I support her need to come home and 'touch base' so to speak. Coming from a background in the U.S. where choice, freedom and autonomy are rooted in her personal makeup to suddenly be living in a different part of the world must be quite a challenge. Not only is the language different but the different social obligations (e.g. living with a host family), sense of uprootedness, and not wanting to submit to local practices can create an overwhelming sense of lack of control. Scary, challenging, ... yes but this must be an incredible learning experience for her as well!