How To Overcome Homesickness While Interning Abroad
ABROADER Team January 17, 2023 10 read
Studying abroad can be one of your life’s most memorable experiences. However, homesickness is part of the process when people move abroad.
Studying abroad can be one of your life’s most memorable, exciting experiences, bringing challenges and opportunities you could never imagine! Living in a new country without the presence of friends or family, on the other hand, can be quite a daunting experience! You might find yourself longing for a home, missing your loved ones, and wondering if you made the right decision to move abroad. In fact, whether individuals want to admit it or not, nearly everyone has to deal with it at some point in their lives.
Homesickness is a very real anxiety issue, but it doesn’t have to hold you back. Everyone goes through feeling homesick at their own pace, and it’s not a process you can be rushed. Remember that missing home is fully natural to going overseas and that it’s alright to miss it every now and then.
If you want to find ways to overcome the fears of studying abroad, then you are in the right place! Try one or more of these suggestions if you find yourself feeling blue and missing home during your time abroad.
Don’t be ashamed of your emotions!
It’s reasonable that you’re missing home right now. After all, everyone misses their loved ones from time to time! Instead of being embarrassed or ashamed of feeling homesick – simply recognize that it’s normal and strive to cope with it.
It may appear like you are the only person who isn’t immediately enamored with Florence, but the truth is that you are not the first person to feel homesick – you’re probably not the only one in your program. You might feel a lot of pressure to be positive about the entire experience, especially if you had high expectations when you arrived, or to put on a cheerful face when you talk to folks back home, but there’s no shame in being homesick.
It happens to almost everyone and ignoring it will not make it go away. You don’t have to mope around all the time, but it’s completely fine to confide in some friends about any sentiments you’re having – chances are they’re going through a similar process, or have experienced something like it in the past and can offer you the support you need.
Keep in touch with your loved ones
If you’re feeling down, this is probably the simplest thing to do that will help you feel better. Call your loved ones or send them a text to let them know how you’re doing, and keep up regular communication! Tell your parents about any exciting experiences you might be having so they can live vicariously through you for a bit. This will definitely help them feel less far away! Keep an old-school paper diary or journal so you can write your thoughts and feelings down as well if that’s something you enjoy doing.
Keep in mind that if you spend two or three hours a day keeping up with folks back home, you will have less time to live your life in the present. Try to allow time to communicate with loved ones from home, but also set aside plenty of free time to explore your new home or go out with new friends. Your family members and friends will be waiting for you to return, eager to hear about all of the fantastic things you’ve done.
Find an activity to occupy yourself with
Homesickness is usually more of an emotion than it is a physical feeling. Longing for home worsens homesickness, so overcoming yourself with activities will help you put your mind elsewhere. Go out and explore your new city or country, join a sports club or engage in a new hobby.
One of the greatest ways to accomplish this is to make a close friend. They will be a sympathetic ear when you’re feeling most lost. Keep yourself active by exploring or seeing as much as possible while you’re here!
Make new friends
The best way to overcome homesickness and loneliness is to make new friends. A leisurely evening out with friends is a great way to lift your spirits while getting a better feel for your new surroundings at the same time.
So, don’t feel shy! Invite your local buddies out for a meal or a drink. Moreover, if you’re the culinary type, invite them for a home-cooked meal. Remember that other foreigners are in your shoes and will almost always be grateful for some new friends and companionship. Locals are usually eager to show you the ropes of their hometown, so don’t be afraid to ask. You never know who may end up being your new best friend.
Don’t compare your experience abroad negatively to your life back home
You may experience homesickness because things are entirely different here from home, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy or inferiority. Try not to make too many comparisons between your old and new lives – it will get you nowhere fast! Instead, embrace the differences between the two places and try to enjoy them. Moreover, many things change when you go abroad, but not everything has to. If you were part of an activity, it’s reasonable that you’ll miss that aspect of your social life. So why not try to find a version of it in your new place?
Allow yourself a little time each day to talk honestly with people about how you’re feeling without fear of judgment. Studying a topic or learning every day will keep your mind active. There is availble to maintain a favorite sport or activity that brings balance and routine back to your daily life. Furthurmore, it can make new spaces feel a little more familiar and welcoming. There are probably people doing the same activities in your new location. You can do some research to find them, and you might even end up making some new friends. After all, you’re here to immerse yourself in this culture and overcome homesickness.
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Create a discovery list
Homesickness can easily lead to us withdrawing from others in order to overcome emotions on our own. However, being open to talking about our sentiments will undoubtedly alleviate part of our concerns. Even if your primary focus is on studying, you won’t spend all of your time sitting in lectures every hour of the day. In fact, you’ll probably have a lot of spare time on your hands.
Do a little research on where you live and find a few places you can fully explore. For example, you could look into the top ten coffee shops in the city, the greatest bakery with apple pie. Make a list of places or activities and challenge yourself to do or see all of them. This will give you something interesting to do and keep you focused on the next excursion. Keeping active will take your mind off of any negative thoughts, and socializing will alleviate your feelings of loneliness.
Remind yourself that homesickness is temporary
Homesickness might be the worst while you’re experiencing it, but that doesn’t mean it will last forever! It’s also one of the most common sentiments, so there are many students who know exactly how you feel. Remember that even if emotions don’t seem under control right now, they can very well take care of themselves after some time passes.
So what’s the best way to counteract the negative emotion avalanche effect? All together now: with positive emotions! If you’re feeling constantly grumpy all the time, try carrying a little notebook where you write down one nice thing every day or do something like experience coffee culture.
Keeping a record of things that make you smile and provide you with irrefutable proof that there are positive aspects to where you live. So when you want to overcome homesickness, all you have to do is look at your notebook to prove to yourself that plenty of things are pretty great.
Take time for yourself
While it’s important to communicate regularly with your folks back home, it would be great for you to take time for some self-care. Don’t think twice to do what you love to do. You must also stay healthy despite being occupied otherwise. Get into those joggers, run around a nearby park, and get some fresh air. This will help you to overcome homesickness when you’re feeling down.
Remember that feeling homesick is a part of the process and is completely normal. Don’t let this feeling disrupt your overall experience. It’s normal to be in an unfamiliar place and make mistakes. Allow this new experience to transform the course of your life. Stay positive and healthy, and you will be surprised at how enjoyable this could turn out to be.
Homesickness is common when people move to different countries, but it doesn’t mean you should fear it! Since there are many ways to overcome homesickness, try using these tips to get back into feeling like yourself again.
You don’t want to spend all of your time abroad wishing you were somewhere else, so don’t let a few weeks of homesickness bring you down. Whether you choose to use any of these suggestions, do what you can to make your study abroad experience a time filled with good memories that you’ll later look back on with a smile. Who knows – maybe by the time you return home you’ll be longing for your study-abroad location instead!