Studying in the US is an adventure of a lifetime. The experience is enriching, thrilling and exciting, but it is also incredibly challenging. The quite natural feeling that most students experience while studying abroad is “Homesickness”. You face difficulty in adjusting to the new setting and tend to start missing your family, beloved and friends, your emotions are dragged down and this makes you gloomy and sad. To help you combat that depressing, nagging and emotional stage and deal with homesickness while studying in the USA, here are a few tips.
How To Deal With Homesickness Abroad?
1. Don’t be hard yourself, get out of your room and engage yourself
Remember feeling the pangs of homesickness is a natural phenomenon, so do not beat yourself about it. You’ll only make the situation worse if you keep on pushing yourself and feeling guilty about it. Simply get out of your room, indulge in activities and clubs on-campus, meet new people, make friends and enjoy student life.
Take up some activity that you like or are passionate about, like music, sports, arts, etc. Educational institutions in the USA offer a plethora of extra-curricular opportunities to students to meet new and like-minded people and have fun. These activities, clubs and societies are elements of distraction. You’ll be involved in these activities, therefore, not miss home much.
2. Stay in touch with family, beloved and friends
To feel connected with home, keep in touch with your loved ones back home via FaceTime or Skype call. Share your problems, plus your experiences at the university with them and you’ll surely feel better. Chatting with loved ones will cheer you up.
3. Get a bit of home with you
Whatever comforts you, bring that along with you- be it your favorite toy, pillow, a quilt to snuggle with, a family photo to hang on a wall or any other memento. These home objects will remind you that you are not too far away from your beloved ones.
4. Work part-time
You can work part-time in the USA, in this way, you’ll stay busy and also gain an experience that will boost your career.
5. Stay positive
Make an effort to stay positive as this will help to deal with homesickness. To stay positive, do things that you enjoy, whether it is watching your favorite show on TV, shopping, taking a nice long bath, exercise or socializing with friends.
Make a list of activities and things you like to do, such as jogging, physical exercise, painting, music, reading books, writing poems, playing a musical instrument, etc. You can enjoy your alone time and stay positive by indulging in things and activities you like. Also, by staying positive, people around you will feel good. You’ll be a pleasure to be around and having friends around will help combat your homesickness.
6. Ask for help/Go for International Student Support
Universities in the USA provide support and help to international students to adjust to the new environment- from advice on important matters related to studying and living to guiding around the local area and more, there is a student support team that is available to help you.
If you’re feeling homesick, there is no shame is asking for advice or help. Talk about your feeling with university counselor. Approach your professors or take advantage of university counseling service.
7. Explore and experience your surroundings
One of the major reasons to feel homesick is the unfamiliar environment. So to keep the feeling of homesickness at bay, it is best to explore the city and experience everything it has to offer. Go for sightseeing, stroll in the park, volunteer or engage in activities with local community; all this will help you understand your city, its people and its culture better and you’ll not feel as an alien then.
8. Stay healthy
“Fresher’s flu” is common, which eventually leads to homesickness. To combat the fresher’s flu and homesickness, it is best to stay fit, healthy and active by eating healthy food like fruits and vegetables. Eating well, sleeping well and drinking plenty of water will boost your energy to get involved in the social activities and clubs both on-campus and off-campus, therefore your calendar will be busy and occupied, which leaves no time to feel homesick.
9. Meet people and make new friends
Meeting new people and making new friends adds to the study abroad experience in the USA. Make local friends as they will show you around, and tell about the local culture, traditions and food, which will help you to know more about your surroundings and systems, thus settling in a new place becomes easy. You can connect with friends and chit-chat with them when feeling homesick and travel with them. They are sure to become your lifelong friends.
Studying in the USA is an unique experience. So, make the most of it and do not let the feeling of homesickness ruin it as it is just a fleeting emotion while the study experience will last lifelong. Just follow the above shared tips, and then your mind will not have time to meander to the thoughts of being home.
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