What to do if you are feeling homesick or culture shock while studying abroad

If you’re considering studying abroad, congratulations! You’re about to start an incredible journey. But it’s also normal to feel a bit nervous about leaving your home and familiar surroundings behind.

One of the most common concerns for students studying abroad is homesickness. Feeling homesick is perfectly normal and can affect anyone, no matter how independent or well-travelled they are. It’s often described as a feeling of sadness, loneliness or anxiety that is triggered by being in a new environment.

Culture shock is another common experience for students studying abroad. Culture shock occurs when you are exposed to a new culture that is unfamiliar and different from your own. It can cause feelings of confusion, disorientation, stress and even anxiety.

There are a few things you can do to combat homesickness and culture shock:

1. Be in touch with family and friends back at home.

A quick chat or video call can help you feel more connected to your loved ones.

2. Get involved in campus life and meet new people.

Join clubs and societies, or volunteer for campus events. This will help you feel more settled on campus and make new friends who share your interests.

3. Explore your new surroundings.

Take some time to familiarize yourself with your new city or town. Visit tourist attractions, try new foods, and experience all that your new home has to offer.

4. Be patient with yourself.

Getting used to a new environment takes time. Give yourself time to adjust and exercise patience.

5. Keep a journal.

Recording your thoughts and experiences in a journal can help you process your emotions and make sense of your new surroundings.

6. Seek out other students from your home country.

Spending time with people who come from the same culture as you can help you feel more comfortable and connected in your new environment. They can help you adjust to your new environment and give you tips on where to find things you may be missing.

7. Be open to new experiences.

Embrace all that is different and unfamiliar about your new culture. Try to see the beauty in difference and the opportunity for growth that comes with it.

8. Find an activity or hobby that helps you relax.

Whether it’s going for walks, listening to music or reading, find an activity that helps you unwind and de-stress.

9. Seek professional help if needed.

If you find that you’re struggling to cope with homesickness or culture shock, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Your university will have counselling services that can assist you. These are often free for students. Don’t wait too long. Seek support when you need it.

Feeling homesick and culture shock is something many people feel when they are in a new country. Chat with Gradstar today for more tips and tricks to thriving while you are overseas having the best time of your life!

Date Published: Sep-12-2022

Our Dream Makers are expert listeners, educators, career consultants and student supporters. They co-design your study abroad experience with you to empower you to reach for the stars. Because dreams deserve a helping hand.

About the author

This blog was written by Gradstar Global Education.