While studying abroad can seem exciting at first, you may realize soon after your arrival that you are distressed and sad about leaving home. After all, everything normal and routine is gone. Your family and friends are far away. And you may find yourself having a more difficult adjustment than you expected. Here are 5 strategies to help you deal with this:
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
So maybe you think you are invincible? That you can set your mind to anything and achieve it. You know what? You still are and you still can! But in order to be successful, you have to acknowledge your feelings before you are able to do something about it.
2. Get Involved
Many international students report feeling homesick because they do not feel part of the community and they may not have the same support system they have back home. It’s important to take charge, think about what you like to do – and get involved. Many college campuses have a number of organizations and clubs – not to mention activities – going on all of the time. Join clubs, go out (even if you don’t want to!), and start meeting people.
3. Explore Your New Home
Everything may seem foreign – the food, the culture, the surroundings, and what better way to feel comfortable than to hit it straight on? Ask a friend – or someone you just met – to come with you to explore your new city or town. You can even ask someone from the area to go with you. This will allow you to get comfortable and familiar, and perhaps love your new environment!
4. Keep In Touch
Just because there is distance between you and your loved ones, your communication doesn’t have to be. Technology has done wonders, and there are so many tools that can connect you with your family and friends. With Skype, Google Hangout, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, and Pinterest, there are plenty of ways to minimize the distance.
5. Talk To Someone
Talking out your feelings and emotions can be very therapeutic. It can be a friend, an advisor, a family member, or someone who can lend an ear. Sometimes we all just need to talk it out and we might already start feeling better.
Want more information? For related articles, check out our article on Culture Shock for International Students.
Category: Health & Safety Abroad