While studying abroad can seem exciting at first, but a person may soon realize after their arrival that he/she is distressed and sad about leaving home. Every year, hundreds of international students are accepted into post-secondary institutions from all across the globe. For them, home is not merely a place to live, it’s a lifestyle they have followed for years before shifting to an alien city.
Most often, students lose themselves in the euphoria and don’t anticipate the adjustment and struggles related to being in a new place. Those who experience the state of homesickness like this, feel some sort of anxiety, sadness and nervousness and most often preoccupied with thoughts of home and the longing for familiar surroundings and friends.
Here, we will be going to some of the ways to get rid of your homesickness if you are new to a place for your academic venture. So, let’s get started right away….
1. Get your feelings acknowledged
You don’t need to start a blog to begin expressing your feelings. Homesickness is a very natural and common response for students who leave home. Find a journal or download an app on your phone that will allow you to acknowledge your feelings. It is a perfect opportunity for you to understand yourself better, what motivates you and defines you. Once you’ve accepted homesickness as a temporary part of the transition process, the best thing you can do is make connections with your new environment. In order to be successful, you have to acknowledge your feelings before you are able to do something about it.
2. Get yourself involved
Many international students report feeling homesick because they do not feel part of the community. Therefore, try out hangout zones or places people visit frequently. A university is packed with opportunities to try new things and meet new people. Take up a sport, join student clubs and societies, find a part-time job, check out the campus social calendar. You can also sign up for workshops where you may find like-minded people. Wander around even if you don’t want to! And start meeting new people.
3. Explore the place
Get an idea about your new city. Ask someone you know who’s already there. Ask about places you may find interesting. Everything may seem foreign, the food, the culture, the surroundings, and what would be a better way to feel comfortable than to hit it straight on? It’s incredibly easy to bury your head under the pillow in your room. But doing so will prevent you from meeting new people, trying new things, and experiencing college life in general. Every place has its own specialties. Find out all you can know about the place. Ask a friend or acquaintance to accompany you as well.
4. Utilize the flavour factor
Taste is a very strong sense that can relieve your homesickness and leave you feeling full, content and relaxed. It is always a great option to try new local cuisine and different foods when you are feeling homesick. Who knows, you might come upon a menu which would leave you craving for it forever? Along with this, you can also cook up a feast that reminds you of home.
5. Keep in touch with your family
Just because there is distance between you and your loved ones, your communication doesn’t have to be. Technology has advanced enough in this aspect. You may call home once or twice a day for at least five minutes. Although too much calling back at home can make you feel more homesick. Find the right balance and remain in contact with your family and friends to feel good. In a study of people from other countries working in London, those who kept in regular contact with friends and family back home were less homesick than those who didn’t.
6. Always think positively
The power of positive thinking can help you reduce homesickness. The first step in overcoming homesickness is realizing that there isn’t anything wrong with you. Each individual has his or her own way of overcoming homesick feelings, but making a concerted effort to carry a positive attitude around will help you to combat homesickness in a major way. Write only positive thoughts in something like a journal, and look for ways to spin the negative vibes. For instance, try to make an effort to notice the good things about studying abroad. Find hobbies to entertain and distract you.
7. Schedule an exercise routine
Exercise is maybe one of the best ways to beat homesickness because it can boost your overall mood. Exercise, meditate, engage in physical activities. The more occupied you are, the less homesick you feel. It will also keep you healthy and avoid other illnesses, such as fresher’s flu by keeping you in shape while you’re abroad. Some studies have shown that people who engage in regular exercise are more distracted from negative thoughts. Physical and mental exercises help restore concentration and help you study better. If you cannot afford to go to the gym you can start jogging around your local area.
8. Listen to music
Music can change your whole mood. So, when you might think of missing home, instead of sulking, just dance it off, work it off, or relax it off with some calming music on your ears. Let it take away your mind off homesickness. Music therapies help relieve anxiety, depression and stress symptoms.
9. Take photos of the place
Street photography is one of mankind’s most beautiful gifts to the world. Taking lots of photos is a fantastic way to explore your new home and get more familiar with your surroundings. So just grab your camera and tell your stories in one frame. Glancing at photos can help you appreciate your new surroundings and remind you of why you picked the destination in the first place. Let the people back home know where you live.
10. Don’t rely too much upon social media
Do not solely depend on social networking sites to get rid of homesickness. Constantly checking on the social media pages of your friends from home will do more harm than good. Photos and video let us see what everyone does where and when, and it can be hard to not just focus on all the things that are going on back home. Limit the time you spend on social media, so you are not too distracted by memories from home when you do find yourself perking up. The real world does exist and it’s magnificent. Pick real life over social media.