12 Ways to Deal Homesickness as an International Student
You decorated your bedroom wall with a poster calendar. It is not a deliberate step to count down to New Year's day but your freedom. "Freedom from what?" the world questions. Well, to you, it's about time you break out from your parents loving supervision to an international university environment. One which allows you to decide on an ideal time to wake up, how often you do your laundry, or the relish of having pizza for breakfast. That's a sneak preview of what freedom looks like, but there could be a price to pay. It is undoubtedly in the currency of homesickness. A feeling of loneliness can show up as early as the freshers week and could take a few months to overcome or mitigate. Let's look at some simple tips for international students desiring to overcome homesickness.
Tips for overcoming homesickness
- Have a big picture: We are not campaigning for you to place an extensive view of your city on your bedroom wall. The wisdom here is to see this new adventure as a means to earning a degree, building solid friendships, embracing a new culture, and possibly learning a new language. That's a big picture that is worth capturing and recapturing whenever the impression of homesickness flashes at you.
- Developing a growth mindset: Your education abroad can be a growth mindset project. It will present opportunities for you to harness some level of dedication and hard work. You should view your international degree program as an avenue for leveraging your intellectual and human abilities for an impactful life.
- Communicate with your family regularly: The emergence of video conferencing apps and technologies has made communicating with loved ones relatively easy and free. You could schedule a specific day and time to reach out to your family, especially if there is a significant time difference between your home nation and country of study.
- Find a passion project: Studying in a foreign country could be pretty daunting with lectures, assignments, and adjusting to a new environment happening simultaneously. In the midst of all of these, you can be rattled with homesickness. It might be a good idea to find a passion project like writing poems, playing the flute, or knitting a neck warmer scarf.
- Join a Meetup group: There are different Meetup groups for interests such as adventure travel, software development, financial independence, cultural experience, and many more. It is beneficial to find a group that is aligned with your interest.
- Reach out to your friends back at home: Maintaining contact and communication with your former classmates and friends from your home country is still essential. They help replay old fond memories and rekindle nostalgic moments.
- Contact your school counsellor: Most higher educational institutions have a guidance and counselling unit that supports students who reach out due to homesickness. It is a good idea to speak to your designated advisor in your educational establishment.
- Find a restaurant that makes your local dishes: Large and multicultural cities in Europe such as London, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Paris are full of diverse restaurants. Studying in one of such cities will provide you with an opportunity to find a place that makes your home country a delicacy.
- Prepare a local dish or your favourite meal: An excellent way to experience home away from home is by preparing your family's favourite dish. You could ask your mum for a particular recipe or go online to find one.
- Embark on staycation trips: The weekend is a great time to explore your new surroundings. Learn more about historical sites and local communities. Doing this helps you appreciate your new environment.
- Request for treats or gifts from home: To combat that feeling of homesickness, you should consider asking your family to send some of your favourite treats. It can help you embrace some sense of home while away.
Choose a privately-built student accommodation unit or hall of residence: Building friendships among the student community is quite essential in a new country. Privately-built student accommodation residences or university halls can provide the required environment to foster like-minded friendships and mitigate the effect of homesickness.