Battling Homesickness Abroad

2463-shutterstock_415695742If you have chosen to study abroad, then it’s a given that at some point you are going to be miserably homesick. Every student goes through it—and this means that if all the other students have dealt with it successfully, so can you. Reassure yourself with the fact that however bad it may seem right now, it won’t last. It’s perfectly normal to feel out of place, to wonder if you have made the right choices, to miss your friends and family and your life back home. Adjusting to a totally new culture can be difficult, and you may feel cut off from your support system especially if you are in a different time zone.

Here are some ways you can get over homesickness:

  • This is the most obvious- stay connected with your family and friends back home. In today’s internet age, this isn’t hard at all. WhatsApp and Skype can put you right in your living room or in the middle of your friends! Find a healthy balance between your folks back home and your new life, though; you don’t need to catch up with every little event that’s happening. Sometimes you can feel more homesick if you realise that life hasn’t stood still just because you are not there; family get-togethers and parties still happen without you being around, and you may feel left out.
  • Keep yourself busy. Find tasks to do, or errands to run. Set up your new room or apartment. Buy groceries. Do the laundry. There are a million things you can do! Just don’t give yourself any time to feel lonely or lost.
  • Make new friends. More than anything, you probably miss the company you had back home. You will feel that the people around you now just don’t match up to the friends you left back home, who knew you so well and with whom you seemed to have had such great fun! Give your new friends some time- you will soon get to know them better and they may be every bit as nice!
  • Go out every chance you get- join a bunch of different clubs, and attend every meeting. Sign up for some sports activities, or arts or music. Go window shopping. Try the local cuisine, and explore the countryside.  The more you immerse yourself in social activities, the less homesick you will be.
  • Throw yourself into your studies. That’s the reason you are abroad, in the first place. Put your work first, and schedule regular study time so that you don’t have work piling up. Don’t leave homework till the last minute. Once you start enjoying your studies, you will feel like you have regained your sense of purpose.
  • If you are feeling very down, you can always seek help from a counsellor. Share your feelings with fellow students who may also be experiencing similar issues. You will feel better once you realise that you aren’t alone in the way you feel. You can also talk to your faculty advisor, education coordinator or host family. It’s okay to talk about your feelings once in a while- bottling up emotions is never good!

Homesickness doesn’t last, so don’t let it get the better of you ! Your study abroad period is an exciting time in your life, so go ahead and create wonderful new experiences that will last a lifetime!

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