Moving to a new country can be exciting at first but after some time the novelty wears off. You start to miss the little things that made up your old life like food, and especially loved ones. It’s even worse with time difference that makes it difficult to connect when you want. You may have to schedule and reschedule to have a video call. You can’t take away this feeling but you can accept it and manage it so it becomes something beautiful. You have to make a conscious effort to embrace your new life and accept your old life as home too.
Here are some tips for managing homesickness as an international student:
- Acknowledge you are homesick:
The first step to dealing with your feelings is to acknowledge and accept them. Suppressing your feelings won’t make them magically disappear, they are valid so they need to be acknowledged. It is very normal to miss your life, especially if it’s the only one you know. Acknowledging you miss home is the first step and you can do this by writing or making a mental note of what you miss about home.
- Open up to someone:
There is a saying “A problem shared is a problem solved.” Talking about your problem does indeed lighten the burden. When you talk to someone you don’t feel alone in that situation any longer, it will also strengthen your relationship with the person. They may also give you advice that will help and introduce you to things to help deal with the homesickness.
- Be a part of a community:
While your experiences are unique, there are still common threads you share with other people. A lot of people are dealing with homesickness and supporting each other through shared activities, events, and new experiences will increase your sense of belonging and help you accept your new location as home too. As simple as talking about your feelings as a group and affirming each other’s feelings helps. You can join the International Student Group of your school, find a local religious or secular gathering of people like you.
- Call home often:
You will need to prioritize your loved ones. With a busy schedule, it’s easy to go for long without calling, especially with the different time zones. One way around this is to ask for everyone’s schedule, find what works and schedule an appointment while taking advantage of messaging apps and social media. That way you don’t forget to share your life as it’s happening so much that you start to feel disconnected from home.
- Open yourself up to new experiences:
A lot of people move to new places but don’t want to experience the new culture. It’s always good to embrace the new while keeping the old, that way you have a rich life. Volunteer, join organizations, make friends, eat new foods, listen to the music, dance, learn a new language, etc. When you start doing these, you begin to feel at home in your new place and the homesickness reduces.
I hope these tips help, please share your comments, tips, and suggestions below.
Make it a Winning Day