2 answers

How did you deal with homesickness while you were living abroad?

Asked Plano, Texas

The program I've been accepted to for grad school is in a different county from the one I'm living in. I've lived abroad before, but only for a short amount of time. What's it like to live in a new country for over a year? #studyabroad #study-abroad

2 answers

Liza’s Answer

Updated

Hi - first off, congratulations on your acceptance! That sounds like an amazing opportunity. From my personal study abroad experience, I can admit that homesickness can be tough to deal with at times while abroad, however, there are lots of ways to manage it. It's great that you are already thinking about this and are prepared for when the homesickness hits (because inevitably, it will). I think the 2 biggest things that helped for me were Skype/Facetime and getting involved in my new community. Skyping regularly with friends and family was really helpful when I was missing home, even if it was just a quick update from my sister or old roommates. I think more importantly though, getting involved in the local community helped me the most. Whether it's finding a coffee shop that becomes 'your own' (having a barista know my name/order really did make the city feel more at home), or joining a community group, having these relationships will really help you feel more at home. I joined a fitness community that made me feel more comfortable in the new city by simply looking for free local workout classes. I would think about your interests and do some research on the local community, as well as reach out to your graduate program. Program admissions should be able to connect you with members of local organizations that suit your interests! Get involved, have an open mind, and best of luck!

Connor’s Answer

Updated

I found that creating strong bonds with friends abroad was the best way to battle feelings of homesickness. Being connected to friends and family at home is good, but sometimes being overconnected was detrimental to my state of mind. Making new friends, traveling, and being open to new experiences were the things that kept me going. It was much easier to feel homesick on the days when boredom and stagnation crept in. Also, having friends and family visit helped to break-up my time abroad and allowed my new friends to connect with old friends/family. I found that this made everything feel a bit closer. The most impactful visits I had were in the second half of my trip, when feelings of homesickness were the strongest.

This professional recommends the following next steps:

  • Make a plan to keep busy while abroad. Identify new habits you want to enact or habits you would like to continue. Be specific
  • Make plans for friends or family to visit if possible. Don't be afraid to ask more extended family (aunts/uncles/grandparents.) These were my favorite visitors and made me feel much closer to home!
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