S2 went overseas almost 18 months ago. College was not a great experience, lots of depression and anxiety and the realization that his smarts could no longer compensate for serious LDs. Took off a semester. I admit we pushed him to finish; I was terrified that if he didn’t go back, he never would. After graduation, he came home and lived with us for 2.5 years working odd jobs, not making enough to have any hope of moving out on his own. It was a terrible dynamic for all of us, and I kept getting sucked into the conflicts between S and his dad. S also was in regular therapy; having seen me go to deal with the emotional fallout of all my medical stuff (and how to extricate myself from said difficult dynamics) made it a comfortable choice for him.
S went overseas to teach English and improve his language skills in the hopes that he’d be able to land the kinds of jobs he wants here. It has been an incredible experience for him. The cost of living there is much lower, so he is financially self-sufficient. He has found a life, friends, meaningful work beyond the teaching, and loves the country. Original plan was two years; now he’s talking three. He calls it “adulting lite,” but it’s hard to live in a country where English is not often spoken and the culture is so different from our own. (I am continually thankful we traveled with our kids as they were growing up. A lot of things were familiar and comfortable to him.)
That said, he had a colleague come over for the same job, his anxiety and depression overwhelmed him, and he went back home after a couple of months. Yes, going overseas could be absolutely a brilliant move, but not something I’d recommend if there are significant issues that have led to ideation or extreme swings in behavior. S got clearance from his doc and counselor and we had plans in place in case he struggled.
And +100 on getting therapy for yourself if you are struggling with letting go or anxiety about your S/D. It’s REALLY hard to let our kids make their own decisions and mistakes. I keep reminding myself of what I was doing in at my sons’ ages. That keeps me focused on the fact they are adults, that mistakes may lead to happier endings than any of us imagined, and keeps me grateful that my sons share far more with me than I ever did with my parents.