We all remember the day when left our home for education. Those who ended up studying in a different location altogether will agree with me that the first day is generally the most challenging one. Things become better, of course, but that still does not completely do away with the feeling of alienation and homesickness. All the comforts offered to us so generously in our intimate environment no longer remain in this new place, and you are expected to start afresh. Homesickness, in short, makes you feel miserable.
The feeling only aggravates when you leave your country to pursue education abroad. International students are more vulnerable to homesickness because they are placed in relatively more difficult situations: they can’t immediately connect with their people or go back home, to name a few problems. No matter how friendly the new culture is we may not find what we are looking for: home.
So, how to go about homesickness when studying abroad? Well, the tricks and tips and their impact vary from one person to another; but there are a few general tips I would give. So, let us take a look!
Talk to your people regularly
Many students cut themselves off from the very people whom they are missing. Why? There could be many reasons; a common one being that they do not want to show their miserable self and cause worry. However, that is where they go wrong. You have to talk to your close ones regularly. Do not overdo it or else you will allow homesickness to get a hold on you. Even though you are far away and do not want to cause worry, your people should know what is going on with you. Let it all out whenever needed, and I swear you will feel better.
Learn the value of acceptance
Denial is the greatest enemy of anyone who wants to change. If you keep denying that change is needed, you will never change ever. Acceptance is the key to moving on, but it doesn’t come easy – I understand that part very well. Instead of expecting the alien environment to tailor itself as per your needs and circumstances, you should change as per its’. Because, in all honesty, you lack the power to change that environment. You are new there, and you must accept its greatness and badness.
If you expect that the city and its people will come to you and understand you, you need to change that line of thought. It is you who would have to step out and understand them. Traveling, thus, is a good option. After you have settled down, you should visit local sites. Talk to people while you are out so that you are able to understand them and their culture. Homesickness aggravates when you hole yourself up in your room and brood. You are afraid that this new world will be unkind to you, but how you can be sure unless you actually go out and experience it.
Join clubs, associations, or local groups of international and domestic students
You may have a hundred friends back home but they won’t be able to come and comfort you. Alternatively, you can try making friends here in the new world you have just joined. Many international students, knowing the ramifications of homesickness, form local groups and associations, and you can find them in many parts of the world. These clubs etc allow students to join, socialize, and feel less lonely. Once you sit with people who are going or have gone through what you are going through, you will find yourself breathing easily.
Everything takes time
There is no denying that settling down is painful. But, the pain subsides with time. I understand that you are all by yourself in a foreign city, and there may be a thousand moments when you want someone to back you up. But, you don’t have any. Yes, you may be alone right now but with the right approach towards life, you shall find a society to belong there. Time is what heals everything. You must give yourself some time before you overcome homesickness considerably. It is not an overnight process.
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