Studying, in general, is hard but studying in a foreign place is even harder. As an international student, it is best to know how to ready yourself of the possible challenges you will encounter once you become a student abroad.
One of the biggest challenges that an international student must overcome is homesickness. Homesickness is a usual feeling that any of us will encounter if we have to be in an unfamiliar environment. Klapow (as cited by Bologna, 2018) has mentioned that homesickness is associated with feelings of attachment. Also, a study in a university shows that 75% of the total population usually suffers from homesickness and this happens during the first week of classes and can happen during the holidays when festivities are celebrated back home (Young-Powell, 2018). Butler (2018) emphasized that this topic is also a sensitive issue that not everyone is willing to share it with others.
If you are an international student needing help to cope with homesickness, then you are lucky to stumble on the right page. Here are some of the best tips we can recommend for you to survive attending school abroad and live life to the fullest while learning:
1. Finding new friends
As a freshman, it is best to determine how to meet new people. You can try talking to your fellow students to make friends since you will be spending the next years together in this new country. It is also best to build camaraderie with other people in the university such as your professors or the student support to help in making yourself more comfortable with the new environment. It is also best to have new friends in a foreign place for you to avoid feeling out of place. Bonding with new people is also an assurance that you will have someone you can lean on when times get rough or have someone you can share new memories with.
2. Enjoy real life and avoid social media sites
Social media is an excellent way to keep in touch with your family and friends back in your home country. However, this might also be a cause of your longingness for them especially when you see them having fun with their own lives. As much as possible, it is best to live and experience the real life in the new country you are in. You must not restrain yourself on having fun just because you are busy moping with how people from your home are having fun without you.
3. Search for new activities
It is nice to stay and relax on your own but isolation can also make you feel worse if you will keep doing it. It is best for you to start searching for fun activities since living abroad gives you the opportunity to try new things you have not tried before. Whether you will be living in a tropical country or a cool one, you can for sure find ways to experience action-packed or laid-back activities you will not experience back at home.
4. Develop new routine and habits
Living in an entirely new place is an opportunity for you to create the best routine that works best for your lifestyle. It is best to develop new habits that will help you become productive with your school works and extra-curricular activities. These new habits will also help you keep your mind busy with things that matter the most instead of stressing yourself with homesickness.
5. stay positive
Preserving a positive mindset can help in easing your mind and assist you in overcoming the challenges you might encounter. Being optimistic will also help you in keeping away negative feelings such as homesickness. It will help you stay on track and keep your focus on the good things that are happening in your life. This trait is fundamental for all students to achieve the goals they want to attain to succeed in school and eventually in their adult life.
You should avoid ruining your life because of negative emotions such as homesickness. If you feel like you want to give up because of loneliness or any other reasons, we are suggesting for you to seek help and talk with your peers or student assistants.
You must keep in mind that the good thing about living in a foreign land is that you will learn how to be independent. If you survive to get your education abroad, then you will surely conquer the rest of the world confidently by yourself in the future.
Bologna, C.,(2018). What Happens To Your Body When You Feel Homesick. Retrieved March, 2019, from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/what-happens-mind-body-homesick_n_5b201ebde4b09d7a3d77eee1
Butler, J. (2018). 9 ways to deal with homesickness. Retrieved March 2019, from https://www.savethestudent.org/international-students/tips-to-deal-with-home-sickness.html
Young-Powell, A. (2018) Homesickness at university: Is there a cure? Retrieved March 2019, from https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/dec/19/homesickness-at-university-is-there-a-cure