10 Ways to Beat Homesickness Whilst Studying Abroad | Top Universities

10 Ways to Beat Homesickness Whilst Studying Abroad

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Carly Williams

Updated May 17, 2023



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Studying abroad is no doubt an amazing experience, but it can also no doubt be tough being so far away from home and everything familiar in your life. It’s hard enough being a student, let alone being thousands of miles away from your family and friends, the city you have grown up in, and those lovely home cooked meals.

In order to make the most of your time abroad (because it goes by so fast and before you know it you’ll be back home), here are some tips that will help you to de-stress, stay connected to home, and allow you to have the most fun possible. After all, you are (kind of) on vacation…right? 

1. Video chat is your best friend


Gotta love technology, amiright? Gone are the days where you’d keep in touch via email or handwritten letter. Nowadays, video chat allows you to connect with people instantly, for all those family dinners, birthdays, or just a quick chat that you miss out on while being abroad. You can pretty much talk face to face with people with the click of a button, which is pretty dang cool.

2. Send hand written letters and postcards


Who doesn’t love getting mail? Sending letters, postcards, and small gifts to people back home will help you feel a lot more connected to them. Sending letters might be a thing of the past, but there is something to be said about writing something down permanently on paper rather than sending a quick text. It means more to the receiver, and I can promise it’ll mean more to you too.

3. Keeping busy is key


You are probably bound to get more homesick if you are spending all your time at home or watching hours of Netflix on your time off. The best thing you can do is to get out of the house, get some fresh air, and keep yourself as busy as possible. If you are busy, you won’t even have time to think about missing home.

4. Chat with other likeminded people


You are likely living or studying abroad with people who are also living abroad in the exact same scenario and feeling the exact same emotions as you are. Expressing how you’re feeling is always better than allowing emotions to bottle up inside, especially when you have the opportunity to chat with someone who will understand exactly what you’re going through.

5. Dive into your books


Allow yourself to settle into a productive routine where you have set study plans for each day of the week. Writing it down in a planner is always helpful, as you can visually see what you need to get done instead of pushing it under the rug every day. Joining a study group or studying with a fellow classmate can also hold you accountable and have someone there to connect with (and share the misery with). Lastly, a change of scenery when it comes to study spots can make the world of a difference in your productivity.

6. Write down how you’re feeling


A lot of people swear by writing things down to relieve stress. If you have an issue or feeling that you want to get out (but don’t necessarily want to express to someone else) write it down in a journal, and you may be surprised how much better you feel. Making lists and checking off tasks as you do them is another satisfying way that writing things down can help anxiety and stress.

7. Get some exercise


Have you ever regretted doing a workout or going for a run once it’s completed? Okay, maybe during it, but most definitely not after. Exercising is not only good for your physical health, but also massively for your mental health. A quick walk outside between studying is sometimes all it takes to brighten your mood and get you back on track.

8. Do things you love to do at home


You may be half way across the world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep a little bit of home with you wherever you go. Make your mom’s famous pasta recipe, go for brunch with your friends on Sundays, take up your favorite hobby or join a club at school. Do all of the things that you loved to do at home in order to make a new place feel more homey.

9. Make some travel plans


The best part about studying abroad is, duh, that there are SO many new places around you to explore! A great way to take your mind off being homesick is to plan a trip to a new destination and count down the days until you leave. It always helps to have something to look forward to, especially when you know a vacation is on the horizon.

10. Put yourself first


Last, but definitely not least, practicing self-care is the most important thing you could possibly do (and this is a general life rule). Balancing your studies, social life and eating healthily with trying to travel and make the most of your study destination is easier said than done, and is especially difficult if you’re not used to doing it all on your own. First and foremost, you have to take time for yourself, treat your body right, and accept that you may need to take a break once and a while. Whether that’s staying in on a Saturday night, making yourself a cooked breakfast in the mornings, or buying that sweater you had your eye on, put yourself in the number one spot always.

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