Moving across the country alone, leaving every ounce of comfort you’ve built for yourself, is not an easy thing to do – especially when you’re away from friends and family for so long. Being homesick is something that everyone experiences while studying abroad. Here are some tips and tricks that I used to help me get through my moments of homesickness, and missing my friends and family back home.
1. Get out of your room
Staying locked in your room and thinking about your life back at home will only make things worse. You’re in a beautiful country, go out and experience it! Just taking time for yourself to walk around the city, or going on a bike ride, or even going grocery shopping can be incredibly helpful. Getting out of your own head, thinking about how you’ll be home soon, distracting yourself with other adventures and tasks is very helpful.
2. Meet new people
It is hard to put yourself out there, but just remember that everyone is going through the same thing that you are. Go to events the school or TEAN is holding. That’s how you meet people and make new lifelong friends! I met my best friends by going to these events. I am so glad that TEAN introduced me to these people. It’s nice to have someone to talk to who knows exactly how you’re feeling or what it is you’re going through. It’s also good to talk about it because it reminds you that you’re not alone.
Making new friends also creates new memories. When you’re having fun in whatever host country you’re in, you aren’t thinking about how you’d rather be home or with your friends and family. You’re thinking about how lucky you are to have these moments with the friends you made in this brand new country you get to experience. Making friends and keeping busy is so important because that’s how you get to go on trips and experience the country.
3. Remind yourself why you decided to take this leap of faith in the first place
It can be hard to remember why you decided to move out of your comfort zone. For me, getting on the plane to go to Australia made me doubt myself and the choice that I made. I did not think that I was capable of this. I thought that four months was a long time to be away from my home and my college friends, but I reminded myself that I longed for a new adventure. I wanted to prove myself wrong. I knew I could do it. I wanted to put myself in that uncomfortable position so I could see how independent and strong I truly am. Of course there were moments where I wanted to cry because I didn’t think that I would be able to last. Coming out of this, I made lifelong friends and memories that I’ll cherish forever.
Just remember that this is a journey about yourself. It is important to remember that you are traveling and studying abroad solely for yourself and your happiness. It’s okay to take this time to focus on yourself and your growth. By putting yourself out of your comfort zone, you learn what you’re capable of. I learned so much more about myself during my four months in Australia than I have at any other moment of my life. While I missed my mom and dad, I would not trade those moments of doubt for anything. It showed me that I’m stronger than I ever knew.
TEAN Alum, Bailey House, Quinnipiac University studied abroad on the Gold Coast, Australia with TEAN.