Great Tips For Battling Homesickness When Studying Abroad
While studying abroad is an amazing and life-changing experience, sometimes it can feel emotionally overwhelming and even a bit scary. Thankfully, there are some great tips and tricks you can use to beat homesickness when you’re studying in another country.
Studying in another country is one of the most culturally immersive and rewarding experiences that you can have. Experiencing a whole new culture, language and set of values is an incredible learning experience, and one that’s sure to give you memories for a lifetime. There are times, however, where the anxiety and strangeness of living in an entirely different country can take its toll on you. You start to feel alienated and alone – you’ve gotten homesick. While it’s not the end of the world, it can turn your experience sour pretty quickly.
You might not even know you’re feeling homesick until it really hits you hard one day, these are some warning signs that you might be getting a bit homesick:
- Not leaving your room
- Anxiety about being in a foreign country
- Not taking any interest in cultural activities
- Not making friends
- Frequent calls home
Fortunately, it’s actually fairly easy to dig yourself out of the homesickness rut by considering few tips and tricks and developing some good habits.
This Is Not Your Home
While it may seem counter-intuitive, telling yourself that the country you’re in isn’t your home is actually a good way to embrace it. You’re frustrated because you’re not in a familiar setting, but that’s the reason you decided to study abroad in Italy – or France, or Germany! Once you get your head around the fact that things are different here, and accept that it’s not going to change, you can begin to approach it with an open mind.
Developing a routine is one of the easiest ways to start feeling comfortable in a new place. Routines feel safe to us, because we know what to expect, and we can count on them. To start off, maybe start going for a 30 minute walk every morning and exploring your new surroundings. Maybe find a cute cafe to stop by in the morning to grab a coffee or tea. Try and establish a routine as soon as you can, so that you have some normalcy to identify with.
Make an Effort
This one may seem obvious, but when you’re in a new culture, you’re going to have to make more of an effort to make friends and meet people. Find people who you share common interests with by attending a sports match or catching a concert, and seeing if you can meet people there. University clubs are also a great place to find people who share your interests. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t meet people right away, these things can take time.
Talk to Someone
The worst thing you can do is keep these feelings to yourself – chances are there are people who feel the same way. So whether it’s with a friend or a guidance counselor, talking about how you’re feeling can be a huge help.
It’s scary to be on your own in a foreign country studying, but if you get over your fears and keep an open mind, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.
Visit John Cabot University for more information about universities in Italy.