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How to deal with homesickness

Dealing with homesickness at university? You are not alone.

Feeling homesick is common, especially for international students. Whether you are missing your family and friends or a favorite meal, feeling homesick abroad can be hard to handle on your own. Though this feeling will eventually go away, we share tips on how to deal with homesickness.

1. Stay connected to home, even when you are far away

Studying abroad can make it easy to feel like you are missing out back home, but thanks to modern technology, staying in touch with loved ones is simple.

  • Schedule regular chats with your family and friends is at the top of our list for how to stop missing home. Knowing you can count on these “appointments” will help you feel more comfortable.
  • Stay connected with social media. Keep in touch with friends and family using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Weibo and WhatsApp while you are in the United States.
  • Share your culture. Look for student clubs that celebrate your culture or invite other students to join you in celebrating a holiday. Learn about other cultures, too – you will find many interesting similarities and meet some new people.

2. Embrace your new school

Explore your campus and new surroundings. Whether you are visiting new places or creating a new routine, embrace new opportunities to help you feel better about dealing with homesickness in college.

  • Focus on why you came to study here. Write down all the reasons that you chose your new school and why you came to study in the U.S.
  • Explore your new town. Make a list of things to do and see, like visiting local museums or trying new restaurants. Getting off campus will help you avoid being homesick and allow you to try new things that you could not do back home.
  • Meet new people. Make it a priority to meet other students. Some are new like you and probably want to make new friends, too, so don’t be shy.
  • Create a routine. Having structure in a new place can help you stop feeling homesick. Whether it is always getting coffee at 3 p.m. or attending a sports game each week, routines help you keep yourself grounded and on a schedule.
  • Stay active. Distracting yourself means that you are spending less time feeling homesick. Going for a walk, hitting the gym or exploring your new campus are great ways to feel more energetic and positive.
  • Focus on the here and now. Resist the urge to focus on family and friends. The more you lament on what is far away, the less you can focus on the good things in front of you.

3. Remember you are not alone

Plenty of people get homesick. Reach out to people who can give you support on how to deal with homesickness.

  • Your resident assistant/advisor has likely experienced homesickness and helped other students with it, too. Mention how you are feeling and ask if you can schedule a time to talk so that your R.A. has time to prepare.
  • Counselors at school are trained to provide support and guidance. There is nothing embarrassing about feeling homesick or wanting to talk about it.
  • Talk with other students. They are probably feeling the same way and might have some tips of their own. Discussing your experiences can also be a way to bond and make new friends. Share how you feel while maintaining a positive attitude – too much negativity can make others feel uncomfortable.
  • Call your friends and former classmates. Reach out to your friends who may be dealing with homesickness at university, too. You can support each other and share tips.