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Living away from homeSettling inStudent Life

Guide to dealing with homesickness- an International student’s POV

6 March 2023

While living in another country studying the course I love and enjoying the life that I had dreamt of can be amazing, there are some days I just want to be home… amongst family and friends and familiarity.

When I met other awesome international students and became friends with them, I realised that they felt the same bout of homesickness as me. We all have had our own ways of dealing with homesickness and it of course takes very different amounts of time based on your level of comfort and experience in this new country. However, it is important to remember in such situations that you are never ever alone… so many students share the same pain.

Here are my ways and tips on how to deal with homesickness-

1. Interact with your family

This is the most obvious solution but also the most effective one. Calling up your family just to see them and tell them about the good things that are happening to you here can be a huge step towards feeling better. As you hear them talk about home, you will feel nostalgia but on seeing them super happy for you, you will start enjoying your life here. It might be super difficult in the first few weeks but keeping in touch with them and organising family calls and friends dates can help tremendously. Moreover, continue planning stuff with your family and friends. By this, I mean talking about trips you can take when you come back home and when you have holidays and how everything will happen soon can help distract you and give you something to look forward to.

2. Keep yourself busy

Another way of dealing with homesickness that I have found effective is accepting the fact that you aren’t home right now and keeping yourself busy subsequently so as to not be caught up in sad thoughts. This doesn’t mean you have to bury yourself under work or studies… you can give yourself the space to breathe and meet friends, just to hang out with them. If not, you can simply use your free time to pursue your hobbies, be it exercising, cooking or reading. This will not only take your mind off missing your home, but you will also be able to get a break from university life and relax.

3. Hang out with other international students

In sharing this wonderful experience of being abroad, you can still feel connected to your culture by being friends with other international students. The plans you make with your friends can be simple but heart-warming. Doing activities like cooking traditional food together or binging a film from your country can help to make you feel at ease. Sharing your culture with other friends and roommates can also make an impression. This way you will feel more at home than before plus you get to tell your family about new cultures and share a new bond with them.

4. Let yourself relax

Whenever you have a busy day or are overwhelmed, give yourself time to relax. Sometimes, doing anything and everything won’t help. You will feel it sadly but the main point is that you will get through it all and it will pass. All of us might feel it at some points but in the end, we will feel at home again.