It's the beginning of the semester, which means a whole new group of students will be shipping out to different parts of the globe for an experience of a lifetime- studying abroad. No matter if you are staying for a semester, a year, or even just a few weeks, it can be easy to become homesick at the beginning of your time abroad. Here are 5 tips to make it through that longing for home.
1) Make a Picture Board
One of the best things to do when you are homesick is to make some kind of visual representation of it to put in your room. This can be something to make you smile when you are thinking of home, and also it can act as a comfort when you look at it that home is not too far away after all. Head to general store in the area and have some pictures printed of your favorite spots and people that you miss, and pin them up on your wall. Not only is the end result good, the process can help get your mind off of things.
2) Mimic Your Favorite Activity
Try to find something you enjoyed doing at home that you can modify and add into your routine abroad. For example, I love walking to my local coffee shops here in Atlanta to get some energy and have a place to study. I googled cool coffee shops in the city I was studying in, and ended up finding a place there I liked even more than here. If you enjoy running in the park, find a park near you. If you like going to the movies, find the nearest cinema. Anything that can bring a sense of home to you.
3) Do What the Locals Do
Instead of sitting at home thinking pining away, try observing what the local students in your area do. In Newcastle, the favorite is to go out to clubs. Find a group of students in the area (chances are they will be excited to meet someone from abroad), and tag along to their favorite activities. That way you can experience the culture from an emic perspective, while getting your mind off of missing home.
4) Get Involved with the School
One of the best things I did while abroad was join the Drama Society. Not only did it give me a chance to add some extra curriculars to my resume, but also it gave me connections to so many people I would not have met otherwise. Do some research on what clubs and societies your abroad university has to offer, and reach out to them for information on how to join. Not only are you being productive, but you are also making new friends in the process.
Most of the time, we are homesick because we miss our favorite people, not because we miss a city. If your dorm does not have wifi, chances are somewhere in the city does. Look up the closest wifi hotspot to you and facetime your friends and family. It will allow you to feel like you are with them and ease some of your longing for home.