Studying abroad is one of the most amazing, exciting and fulfilling things that you can do. However, that doesn’t mean that it is easy – it certainly has a few challenges along the way, particularly if you are feeling homesick. Where your other fellow students may be able to pop home for a weekend to ease their homesickness, it might just not be possible for you, so what can you do when homesickness strikes?
Enjoy your home comforts
When you are in a new country, miles away from home, in unfamiliar surroundings, it can really help to have something from home. You could bring something sentimental such as a beloved teddy bear or pictures of your family, or something fun that will help you make friends and feel at home, such as a family favorite recipe.
Although you might just want to mope around in your room and feel sorry for yourself, this is only going to make you feel worse. Instead, get out there and get involved in student life. There will be clubs, activities, sports and societies that you can join. These are a lot of fun, and you will meet like-minded people to spend your time with. These will serve as a perfect distraction, and when you make friends at college, they become like family.
Keep in touch
Whether you write a letter, Skype, or text, keeping in touch with loved ones back home is a great way to feel closer to them and less homesick. Thanks to the internet, it isn’t too hard to keep up to date with what’s going on back home, and your family will probably be grateful to see how you are getting on at college. It is also okay to tell your new friends how you are feeling, as a problem shared is a problem halved and they will likely want to help you.
Look after yourself
There is nothing worse that being ill away from home. Make sure you stock up on fruit and vegetables, especially in the first few weeks where the infamous Freshers’ Flu is abundant! Making sure you sleep enough and drink plenty of water too, will help you feel better, which will make it easier to forget about your homesickness.
International student support
Any college that has international students should also offer international student support. These teams can help with practical things such as visas, but also provide the emotional support that you need when you are feeling homesick. Often they will run events for international students to allow you to meet other students in the same position. This could be really helpful as it is always nice to find someone else who is feeling the same and to help support each other.
Feeling homesick when you are far away from your loved ones, studying in a brand new place, is completely understandable. Just because you are feeling homesick, however, doesn’t mean that you are not going to have an amazing time while you are studying abroad. Make sure you share your feelings with someone who can help, to allow you to really make the most of your time during this amazing experience.