Ten ways to avoid being homesick when studying abroad:
Everyone expects studying abroad to be an incredibly exciting experience. However one phenomenon that can hamper the entire experience is “homesickness.” Mostly fuelled by the cultural shock, homesickness can be a little daunting to deal with. Here are a few valuable tips, which will help you overcome homesickness with ease.
- Keep in touch with your family and friends: an assurance that your loved ones are just a call away is a great way to make you feel at home in a new setting. Use Skype ,Whatsapp, or Facetime to keep in regular touch with your loved ones without causing a dent in your pocket.
- Use online mediums to connect with people: You can spontaneously engage in unplanned chat sessions with your family and friends on G-chat, Skype chat or Facebook. This will take your focus off from constantly thinking about what’s happening back home. Keeping in touch with your loved ones does help but make sure that you don’t overdo it and end up getting completely dependent on them emotionally.
- Visiting local temples, churches, and Mosques: Paying customary visits to Iskcon temples, churches and mosques will make you feel connected to your religious roots and impart a sense of well-being.
- Celebrating Festivals with your peers and local community: with a little effort you will always manage to find folks from your home country. Make it a point to regularly visit community centers and actively participate in celebrating festivals with them. This will serve as a fantastic way to build new bonds of friendship and beat the homesickness blues.
- Eat in an Indian restaurant: Occasionally sinking your teeth into a familiar cuisine will give you feeling of being at home; even if it is for a short while, it will surely serve its purpose.
- Walk into an Indian Grocery store: a random visit to the neighborhood Indian grocery store and spotting Amul, Rasna and Parle-G is sure to bring a smile on your face.
- Go with an open mind: you are going to a new country and be ready to embrace it with arms wide open. Removing this mental barrier will help you broaden your horizons and help you in welcoming a new set of friends. Be open to the idea of utilizing your free time by closely working with student bodies and clubs. If it still doesn’t help, don’t shy away from making the most of university’s student support services. With a little counseling and student-mentoring program, you will settle down quickly.
- Indian Student Associations at the campus: becoming a member of Indian Student Association will allow you opportunities to interact with your Indian peers and instantly feel at home.
- Learn to be self-sufficient: you will miss your mom more than ever when you are required perform daily chores like washing, cooking, and cleaning. Learning to single-handedly manage yourself will equip you to stay on your own and stop you from feeling forlorn and secluded.
- Gear yourself up for a different climate: One important factor that students fail to anticipate is the difficulty in adapting to an altogether different climate. Researching and preparing yourself for the unique climatic conditions of your host country will enable you to weather initial body shocks and adjustment challenges.
There are many like you out there struggling to acclimate themselves to a new setting, but rest assured it will soon start getting better. Reassure yourself that homesickness is a “transient emotion” and the sooner you get out of it, the better it is. Do your utmost to convert your overseas higher education experience into a cherished memory for your lifetime!