Before I left for my semester abroad my home school warned me about the homesickness and culture shock, but to be honest I didn’t really believe them. I thought, “There’s no way this could happen to me.” Boy was I wrong. It is something everyone goes through while abroad, which is a good and bad thing. The bad part is you too will experience it. The good part is every other person that has studied abroad has gotten through it, and so will you.
I had a few rough weeks while studying abroad, wondering why I chose to move across the world for a semester when my entire life was home going on without me. It wasn’t until I talked to one of my roommates did I realize how I was feeling was a normal response. She too was having FOMO, missing her dog, friends and family. We decided we had to do something to stop making us feel this way, after all we’re in Italy, we shouldn’t be feeling sad! So here are some things we found that made us feel better and I hope they work for you too.
Tips to Prevent Homesickness:
Always stay busy. Don’t spend hours sitting on your phone on Instagram or Snapchat seeing what your friends are doing back in the States. Staying in contact is one thing, but constantly wishing you were with them is another. There is always something that needs to be done, and if there isn’t go explore your city!
Keep in mind it might look like your friends at home are having fun, but remember do they get to travel the world every weekend like you? No, so don’t wish you were there too much.
Stay social. Go shopping, go out to eat, play sports, get involved. This is the best way I found that helped with my homesickness. The more social you are, the better.
Always look forward to what’s ahead. That’s what really kept me going. Knowing that I was going to be in Amsterdam one weekend and Morocco the next, got me through the rough patches.
The worst thing you can do is lay in bed and be upset everyday. Not everyone gets to spend a semester abroad, so take advantage of it! Share how you are feeling with your roommates, friends advisors and family. You never know, you might get a care package or even a visit out of it!
Don’t let homesickness ruin your life abroad. Remember that you are only abroad for a summer, semester or year. It will be one of the quickest time of your life, and the most fun. This homesick feeling will only last a few weeks, but the friends and memories you made abroad will last a lifetime! So enjoy it while it lasts!
Camille is a fall 2018 SAI Florence student from University of Tennessee Knoxville.