You’ve likely heard that studying abroad is the most incredible chance you’ll ever have. And it is, but truth is, it can be tough for some of us. Moving thousands of miles across the globe to a new nation, where you will be surrounded by new things and people, is a significant shift, and homesickness is unavoidable. Although it can bring you down it’s important to find ways to lift yourself back up. In this article, I will be telling you 5 tips on how YOU can overcome homesickness while studying abroad.
Building structure & creating routines
Lack of routine frequently causes tension and feelings of uncontrollability. Creating a routine means building structure, which leads to life being more predictable. You might think this is difficult as it’s common to live each day differently while studying abroad, however, there are actually many strategies to establish a fantastic routine and organize your life while leading your new nomadic lifestyle.
Waking up at the same time
An effective routine always starts off with a consistent wake-up time. Fluttering your eyes open at the same time every morning will not only ensure that you get better overall sleep at night, but it will also increase your productivity, and focus, and boost your mood throughout the day! But don’t be so hard on yourself, you are studying abroad for a reason so make sure you give yourself some time for fun on the weekend!
Set a schedule and make to-do lists
Scheduling out your weeks and planning out your days are crucial to building a routine and structure. By doing these two things you can manage your time better leading to prioritizing key chores and recognizing potential distractions. You can jot down your daily to-do list and your weekly schedule on your phone, calendar, or other tools. But make sure you set aside time to explore the new city you call home and travel to different places.
Move your body
Exercising isn’t everyone’s favorite hobby but it’s not what you think it is; we are NOT telling you to go to the gym and lift 100-pound weights every single day. When we say exercise we mean moving your body in one form or another. This can mean going on a walk or jogging (maybe even a run if you’re feeling like it), taking an exercise class, going to the gym, or even dancing with friends. Getting your body moving has many benefits; improving mental health (decreasing feelings of anxiety), strengthening muscles and bones, and enhancing your capacity to carry out daily tasks.
Connect with loved ones back home
Technology has its ups and down but it will definitely alleviate your homesickness as you have the world at your fingertips and can connect with your loved ones in a matter of seconds! Seeing familiar faces will brighten your mood in an instant. If video chatting isn’t for you, having a quick conversation through message may do the trick.
Keep yourself busy
For some people, being homesick cannot be avoided. It’s important to not trap yourself at home all day and go out and experience new things. After all, you are studying abroad for a reason, right? If you’re keeping yourself occupied, you won’t have much time to think about missing home. You can keep yourself busy by exploring new restaurants and cafes, exploring new neighborhoods and sites, connecting with new people, and building relationships!
Balance is key
As admirable as it is to have a schedule to follow religiously and constantly be productive every second of the day, it’s just as important to find balance. Reminder: you aren’t studying abroad to ditch your responsibilities and be the life of the party 24/7 but you are also not here to spend every second of the day following a strict to-do list. You need to actually study when studying abroad but you also need to take advantage of the new city you call home and surrounding countries & towns.
Being homesick can be difficult to deal with while studying abroad, but by taking these tips into consideration you’ll be sure to have the most incredible experience anywhere in the world.
Written by: Charlene Moossa, Spring 2023 student in Florence from Lasell University.
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