Your first week as an international student abroad, and you are flying high. Nothing can hold you back now! Everything is simply new and amazing. You find yourself dodging frequent worried calls from your father and courtesy-liking every ‘I envy you’ Instagram comments on your photograph. Then, as things start to slow down, the excitement wears off, and life becomes more routine, it begins to creep in.
It’s completely natural to feel homesick when you start to live abroad irrespective of how excited you are. No matter where you come from, leaving your home country to study abroad is a huge transition. Just remember that you are not the only one, and perhaps people around you feel the same way. But, what can you do to ensure you don’t get caught in the ‘feeling of homesick funk? What is the key to getting over homesickness, so you be back to your old self again ASAP?”
To give you a helping hand, in today’s post, we have put together our top strategies that will not only help you put yourself together in times of despair but also kick homesickness to the curb in the long run.
Let’s dive right in!
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Top-Notch Strategies To Deal With Homesickness When Studying Abroad
- Make Video Chat Your Best Buddy
Gotta make the most out of your technology love, am I right? Gone are the days where the only way to keep in touch was via email or a handwritten letter. Nowadays, video chat helps you connect with people instantly, for all those family dinners, birthdays, or a simple quick chat that can help you combat your emotions while being abroad. You can now pretty much talk face to face with people with the simple click of a button which is pretty awesome.
- Take A Break From Social Media
FOMO or the fear of missing out is a real thing. Social media makes it easier than ever to keep track of your friends and still manage to feel in the loop even when you are an ocean. Often, it can be really challenging to see your friends continuing their life without you. In such a circumstance, limiting your time on social media might actually help you with your homesickness.
Also, try to maintain a good balance between the amount of content that you are consuming versus the actual content that you are contributing.
- Make A Bucket List For Your Time Away
In the opinion of top essay writers (the fun ones!), even though your primary focus must be on studying while you are abroad, chances are good that you won’t be spending every hour of the day sitting in lectures. Remember, you are in a completely new place surrounded by ample opportunities to broaden your horizons and introduce you to fascinating people and cultures. Take a little bit of time to research the parks, museums, nightlife, and other splendid attractions in the general vicinity. You can even plan free day trips to some of the closest capital cities, like Rome or Greece, during the winter break.
- Be Proactive And Keep Yourself Busy
Shift your mind to something else, make the most out of your time studying abroad, and keep yourself busy. Explore a new location, make friends with new people, and participate in different activities. The more you do, the more you will enjoy your time and never feel that you are missing out on something.
- Bring Home Comforts To The University
Whether it’s your favorite coffee mug that cheers you up every morning or a rag of blanket that your dad gave you when you were five, each one of us has certain objects that simply makes our day when we are not feeling the best. Regardless of whatever your comfort things are, ensure to bring them to the university with you.
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- Make New Friends
This is the most important way to combat homesickness. Undeniably, you were already planning on making tons of friends; however, it’s often harder than you imagine it to be. They speak a different language. But you can’t ever give up. Find an effective way to communicate with different people. Making like-minded friends and integrating them into your family is the number one most important thing you must do. Everything seems to get easier and fall in place once you have got people to interact with and have fun.
- Do Not Compare Yourself To Others
It’s easy to assume by looking at Instagram or Snapchat stories of others that they are having a wonderful time, or you are doing something wrong. However, do not forget that social media just exhibits a superficial snapshot of what people’s lives are like.
Do not compare your university experience with others, and never expect every single day at the university to be the best one of your life.
- Write Out Your Feels
Maintain a journal. A huge number of people swear by writing things down to relieve stress. If you are facing an issue or feeling that you want to get out, try writing it down in a journal. You may be surprised by how much better you feel.
- Exercise 4-5 Times A Week
When you are feeling down, it can be natural to be tempted to lie on the sofa watching romcoms while crying into a huge tub of Ben and Jerry’s chocolate chip ice cream, but this is likely to make you feel a lot worse. Try to exercise at least 4-5 times a week as it can help you feel happier by regulating ‘happy hormones’ or endorphins. Go for a daily run, go to class by bike, or try to walk as much as possible.
- Turn Your New Space Into A Cozy Home
Being away from home can make you feel a little lonely, but you need to settle yourself in your new place and make it feel like ‘home’. Decorate your new place to bring out the homely vibes successfully. If you divert your mind into revamping your new place, it will definitely feel cozy and put-together, where you feel like relaxing on your days off.
- Learn A New Language
The greatest communication barrier ever is the language barrier. It can be said without a shade of doubt that learning any new language is not easy at all. However, when native speakers surround you, it becomes much easier for you to improve.
Do not be afraid to commit mistakes. Your new friends will be happy to correct it for you and help you learn the right word instantly.
- Try The Local Food
What better way to embrace your new home than to try the local cuisine. Do not hesitate to try out new things. Ask around on the campus to find some of the best places to eat.
What’s more, meals are a brilliant way to meet new people and discover similar interests. Try to eat on campus and sit with a group. The chances are that numerous new acquaintances will be eager to invite you to take part in their conversation.
- Keep Up Your Habits
Numerous things changed when you moved abroad, but everything doesn’t need to change. Maintaining a favorite sport or activity will help in restoring balance and bringing back routine to your daily life. It can even make new spaces feel a little more familiar and welcoming. There are other people doing the same activities in your new location. Conduct research to find them, and you might even end up making some new friends.
- Work On Positive Thinking
Like anxiety, homesickness is prone to negative thinking. Learn to think positively. Remember you are only there for a brief time. Whether it’s three months, six months, or even one year, it will pass by in a blink. Sometimes, it becomes essential to take a step back and realize exactly where you are. Enjoy the differences that might be the reason that you are feeling homesick.
- Prioritize Yourself
Last, practicing self-care is the most important thing you could possibly do. Take time out for yourself, treat your body right, and accept that you are just a human. You may need to take break once in a while. Whether that’s staying in on a Saturday night, making yourself a delicious breakfast on Sunday mornings, or purchasing those boots you had your eyes on for long. Always remember to put yourself in the number one spot.
Do not ever let homesickness destroy your life. Remember that you are only abroad for a semester, or 2-3 years. It will be one of the fastest times of your life, undeniably the most fun one. Do not leave with regrets as you were too busy sulking in your room to take advantage of every new opportunity that awaits you out there.
Homesickness is just a fleeting emotion, while your study abroad experiences and memories will last a lifetime. Make the most out of it and keep fighting the good fight, my friend!
Clara Smith is a traveller and a digital blogger. Clara from North Carolina, she advocates 6 years of experience in helping businesses digitally. Currently, she is associated with myessayhelp.co.uk as a subject matter expert. Students trust her more than an essay typer due to her incredible play with words.