Even the most confident and self-assured individual can face homesickness. Being away from friends and family is difficult, especially for students that are away for extended periods. So, how can you avoid homesickness? Here are some tips to take the blues away.
Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook
Technology has advanced significantly in recent years. Even when you’re away, communicating with friends and family is simple. Growing accessibility to the internet and applications like Skype, WhatsApp and Facebook means messaging and calling home is straightforward and cost effective. These applications allow you to be on the other side of the world while staying connected to life at home.
Be careful not to overdo the communication with family. You need to find a perfect balance. You don’t want to rely on calling home to get you through each day. Setting aside time is important, however, too much time calling home will detract from your experiences at your new location.
What is your favourite food? Maybe you fancy your mum's signature dish or a dessert Grandma makes? Particular foods remind us of home and uplifts us when we're down. If you feel the need, treat yourself to some food that reminds you of home comfort food.
On the other hand, different cities and countries provide excellent food choices that are one of the highlights of travel. You should also indulge in the flavours of your new country and make the most of the opportunity. That doesn’t mean you shouldn't also whip up mum’s signature dish once in a while.
Occupy your mind and body! Yes, studying and socialising will take up a certain amount of time. Keeping yourself busy is a great way to avoid homesickness. You need to plan for your quiet times of the day. Turn up early to class, mingle with other students and actively seek out opportunities to take your mind off home. Attend university events or join a sports team.
Alternatively, you can go online and find local events or sports teams to join. Explore the local area and find coffee shops and bars. Make friends with your neighbours. At the start of the month, plan as much as possible: a heavy schedule will ensure you're too preoccupied to think about home and the people you miss.
Communicating in a foreign language for an extended period can be draining. Alleviate feelings of loneliness by finding the time to speak your native tongue with other residents of your home country. Often, the person you find refuge with will be facing the same problems and feeling the same emotions. By sharing feelings and experiences, you not only help yourself, but the other individual as well.
Try mixing your native tongue and foreign languages together in social situations. This is a very good time to practice. There is no pressure, and it’ll be less daunting. Having a friend to learn with will make your experience easier.
Staying connected to friends and family isn’t confined to Skype and Facebook. Consider sending gifts back home to include your family in your experiences. This will give your loved ones a tangible reminder of you and what you're up to. Finding the perfect gift can also take your mind off your homesickness by giving your spare time purpose. They might even send something back?
Create a new home
Drastic change is always difficult with new routines leaving you wishing for your old life back. Although living in an unfamiliar new space can initially be unsettling it can be improved by bringing in unique features and items from your home.
The aim is to make your living space and workspace into something that reminds you of home. You can find great student accommodation on sites like Gumtree or via university websites. If you can’t bring aspects of your home to your new destination, spend some time and money trying to mimic home.
Each little action will go a long way to creating a new space where you can feel both comfortable, and at ease.
PACK & SEND is the number 1 choice for international students when it comes to sending things back home, or when you need something from home sent over to you. With great rates and unrivalled customer service and advice, you can't go wrong. Call 1300 668 000 or request a quote online today at https://www.packsend.com.au/