Studying abroad is really challenging for international students. A lot of things must be embraced – different learning environments, lifestyle in the community, changing weather, and many more. Many students are experiencing a difficult time adjusting, mostly because of missing family and friends back home.
Homesickness is natural and it can come in a number of ways, including missing the birthday of a friend, craving food and delicacy from your country, normal interaction with the people you love, and many more. If these emotions won’t be handled well, it can really put a damper on your study abroad experience.
There are different ways on how to overcome homesickness.
When you’re on a student visa, your time in a foreign country must be devoted to your studies, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have time to do other things. Plan ahead for your spare time, long weekends, holidays, or school breaks. You are in a new place and it means you have plenty of new things to explore and do. This may be your way to really embrace the country, its food, people, and community.
It is important to have constant communication with your loved ones back home. Look for a medium of communication that you’re comfortable with. Designate a time when you’ll call/ talk with them considering the time difference.
Your university might host different activities and get involved with some of the clubs and societies are an excellent way to make friends and integrate with the community. You may also meet other people from your community. If you’re opening up to meeting like-minded people, you’re going to start developing a kind of family and feel a lot like home.
When school works are piling up and then you feel homesick, this is really bad. Staying positive will help you have a great experience while studying abroad. If you think you already reached out to your friends and family back home, and your local and university friends and are still feeling lonely, don’t hesitate to ask for help from the staff at your host university. These individuals are qualified to deal with your very situation; they understand the challenges that international students face, and they have the experience and skills to be able to guide you to the best source of support.