Homesickness sneaks up on even the most adventurous travelers. If you find yourself homesick abroad, here are a few tips to help you find a way to make your new home feel a little more like, well, home.
Spend a little less time on social media and live in the moment!
Scrolling through your newsfeed on Facebook can bring about a case of homesickness. While it may seem like life has gone on without you back home, many students find that when they return, they realize that not much had changed since they left! Keep this mind and take advantage of this opportunity to see and do things that you can’t back home! So, instead of keeping tabs on life back home, live in the moment and enjoy your time abroad.
Find comfort foods.
Your taste buds may long to be back home, too. You can remedy this type of homesickness by finding your favorite comfort food abroad. Whether it's mac and cheese or nutella, you’ll most likely find your favorite snack or dish, or something similar, abroad. Check out international grocery stores in your city, or bigger cities nearby, to find you favorite foods, or the ingredients to cook your favorite foods yourself.
Pro-tip: Host a cultural night! Cook your favorite dish and invite some of your classmates to do the same. This is a perfect opportunity to share one of your favorite comfort foods, while tasting new foods and making new friends!
In addition to staying connected to people from home, it’s also important to connect with people in your host country. Making friends in your new home-away-from-home will keep you active, which in return will keep your mind from dwelling on what may be going on back home. You can connect with students from your classes, internship, or networks of other students studying abroad outside of your program. If you’re living abroad for a long period of time, join a club or engage in other extracurricular activities at your university.
Escape loneliness and go exploring.
When the day dies down and you’re in your room by yourself, loneliness can manifest itself in the form of homesickness. You can fight this form of homesickness by exploring new places! The more familiar you become with your new city, the more you’ll feel at home. And when the time comes to go back home, you’ll probably want to stay a little longer!
Continue a habit from home.
To make your new home feel like home home, pick a routine or two that you had before you left. If you’re a gym rat, find a gym in your host country where you can pump iron. If coffee is your thing, find a cool café or coffee shop to make it a regular spot. The familiarity of the sights, smells, and feelings that these places bring will comfort you and bring a piece of home to you.
Bring someone from home to you.
A great way to see familiar faces everyday is to bring pictures of your family and friends when you go abroad. You can take these photos and display them on your bedroom walls as a reminder of your loved ones back home. If putting things on the walls isn’t allowed in your residence, you can place the pictures in frames or put them in a special place and whip them out if you’re missing your loved ones from home.
Another way of seeing familiar faces while you’re abroad is to invite family and friends to visit you while you’re abroad! You can be their personal tour guide and usher them around your city, or you all can explore a new place together!
All-in-all, home is not a place, it’s a feeling; A feeling that you can recreate in your host country!