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How to Cope with Homesickness While Studying Abroad: Tips and Hints

One of the main difficulties that a foreign student often has to overcome is homesickness. When moving to another country, you can experience a cultural shock, encounter many difficulties. «At home, everything is different. Here, my favorite cottage cheese is not sold, and there are no chocolate chip cookies at all, and my old friends would have understood the joke». For sure, you often compare your home with a place of your studying. This is a normal reaction. However, even if you have already studied there for 3 years, homesickness can overwhelm you.

Sad Student

Celebrate Your First Anniversary

Yearning for the homeland is like breaking up with a loved one. First and foremost, you need to get sick, eat ice cream, feel sorry for yourself for a few days, but then you need to move on. There is a catch though, because it is very difficult to stop feeling sorry for yourself. How can you cheat the system? It is pure psychology. If we treat a moment in life as a tragedy, our brain will automatically rebuild our emotional and psychological state to these parameters. Instead, try to arrange a holiday from this. For instance, «The Day of Sadness», which you dedicate to your usual things: native music, local movies and food. However, it must only last for 24 hours. After that, just go and get acquainted with the new city. Stop sitting at home.

Plan Your Day

The busier you are, the less time you have to think. Thus, it is less likely that you will become discouraged. Try to make your day full of activities: study, go on excursions, meet new people, cook a new dish, go to the amusement park. It will give you many new memories and diversify everyday life and weekends.

Find Your Favorite Place

When you miss your home, the best way is not to get depressed, but go for a walk around the city instead. You are surrounded by a new culture in a completely different town where there are many interesting places for everyone. You can go to a museum or an exhibition, visit the local market with friends or go to the suburbs. Your favorite place in a new city plays an important role. It can be a bench in the nearest park, a cozy coffee house next to your school, a place from which a wonderful view opens up. Soon, you will start meeting people who think in the same way, get to know the barista and just feel yourself better.

Beat the Melancholy

When your brain has nothing to do, it seeks a way to occupy itself. What does it immediately start thinking about? About your home and the past, of course. And here comes the emotional component. To prevent this from happening, be active: participate in general events, arrange small trips, study the city on your own, communicate with your roommates and classmates. You can start a diary to remember every day. Who knows, you can have a talent for blogging!

No Time to Be More Alive Than Now

In the 21st century, we can stay in touch for 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Everyone knows where we are, what we do, with whom we meet and what we eat. It is very difficult to give up the opportunity to know everything about everyone, but sometimes you need to do it. It seems that social networks will help you, but in fact, they will only harm you. Many students spend several hours just absentmindedly browsing social networks, checking friends and relatives. This can interfere with your productivity, and you will think even more about friends who are not with you and miss your family. There is nothing to worry about, though. You may want to share your news, but do not constantly check social networks. Instead of wasting your time on Skype and chats, take a walk and make new friends.

Student in a Cafe

Meet New People

The people you meet can play an important role in your life. It is always easy when you are at school or traveling in a group. You know these people and can safely get in touch with them. However, you will never know what the relationship may be that goes beyond your comfort zone. These meetings include your temporary companions, roommates whom you did not know before or the foster family in which you will have to live. Get out of your comfort zone! To become a part of the local culture, find friends who have been living in this city for a long period of time. Make friends with other foreign students who share your feelings and understand how difficult it is for you to get used to living in another country. You cannot restrict the circle only to the local residents – it is advisable to communicate with those who are just like you as well.

Learn Something New

Learn something new every day to be busy and to spend time with use. You may enroll in cooking classes to learn how to prepare local dishes. Other students prefer to do yoga. There are so many interesting things to know about! When you are busy with something interesting, you will not have any negative thoughts. This way, you are less likely to get depressed.

Think Positively

Homesickness provokes only negative thoughts. Learn to think positively. Create a diary where you will describe positive thoughts, goals, quotes, etc. When you block negative thoughts and begin to think positively, it becomes easier to cope with homesickness.

Discuss How You Feel with Others

It may seem that you are alone, but you are not the first one who goes abroad to study. Many troubles will end quickly, and you will concentrate on the positive points. Before the arrival, do not exaggerate your expectations. There is nothing to worry about. It is absolutely normal to be homesick, and you can calmly tell your friends about it.

Just do not be shy about the feeling of homesickness. This is your home and it is quite logical that you will miss it at certain moments of your travels. However, you do not need to fall into a melancholy. Otherwise, you will spend the rest of the time in a locked room.


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