10 tips for coping with homesickness when studying overseas
Moving abroad for your studies can sometimes be overwhelming, and it’s normal to feel homesick.
NUA’s Student Support team and some of our international students share their tips for coping with homesickness.
1. Home comforts
Bring small reminders of home comforts, maybe pictures of your favourite place or people, or a small soft furnishing for your room to look at when you’re feeling low.
2. Ask questions
Culture shock is a legitimate and recognised experience, and can feel overwhelming. Remember to let yourself feel, work through the stages of adjustment, and remember to ask questions – you’ll feel better settled the more you understand how things work!
3. Make new connections
Try to keep in contact with friends and family back home, but also make sure to leave some space to make connections with new friends you may meet through your course. Don’t spend all of your time wishing you were somewhere else – commit to making memories where you are now!
4. Make plans
FOMO can feel real! But counteract it by making your own new and exciting plans! Discover a new part of the city, or a nice local coffee shop to invite a friend to – it’s much harder to feel like you’re missing out if you’ve got your own stuff going on.
5. Share food from home
“Something that helps me is cooking my favourite dishes from home and sharing it with someone else.” – Valeriya Lakhtikova, MA Games
6. But also try new food!
“What I missed most about home is food, so I tried cooking new food and exploring with takeaways. There are always something that will reminds you of home in Norwich, since local restaurants and cafes are everywhere.” – Yuyu Tse, BA (Hons) Fine Art
7. Get involved in the SU
Get involved in the Student’s Union, to find more social activities, meet people, or get involved in student rights and campaigning.
Volunteering can be a really good way to discover your local area, meet new people, and feel involved in your community. Have a look for some opportunities of ways you can spend your time helping others.
9. Share your feelings
Talk to people about how you are feeling – this can be new or old friends, here or at home, but also the Student Support Team, the Counselling Service, or a trusted tutor/member of your course staff.