Homesickness When Studying Abroad

Studying Abroad Dec 21, 2021

Often, international students may not have the same level of application support as home students. They can find it hard to understand how the process works or know where even begin. Despite the possible challenges, they do what it takes. For many, studying abroad is a pursuit of more opportunities, independence, freedom, and the like. And generally, they are excited by what is to come next. In that context, feeling homesick may not be what they expect. So, they are left dealing with something for which they might not be adequately prepared.

Try to acknowledge and come to terms with how you're feeling.

Experiencing negative emotions associated with something you had been actively looking forward to can seem strange and anti-climactic. But think about everything that is going on. You need to adjust to a new country while often not understanding what's going on. You might be finding it hard to see your friends and family back home enjoying their time while you struggle to meet someone who gets you. Feeling homesick is not too far-fetched in such scenarios. Things might look different for you than what you had envisioned, and that's okay.

Know that you aren't alone!

Most universities have societies or clubs aimed at international students. Though it may not always feel that way, so many people around you are going through the same thing as you. And these could be the perfect opportunity to meet them. Voicing out how you've been feeling in such places can help you feel lighter. And you may as well make a new friend! :)

Connect with people from back home.

Talk to people from back home, and listen to them. Share your feelings, and keep them updated. Having some sense of familiarity while everything else is changing can help reassure you and make things seem less terrifying.

As things get hard, perhaps, it can be helpful to think of what led you to study abroad. Seeing the larger picture without losing sight of why you did what you did may help you get through the first few months. Give time to your hobbies and passions, and get involved with activities where you can meet like-minded people.

Despite all this, if you are struggling and feel that you require additional help, please do know that that is fine. Reach out to the welfare team and access other forms of well-being support available at your university, and try not to shame yourself for your (very valid) emotions! <3


Ritika Singhal

Along with Rahat Bashir

Senior year student passionate about social justice and inclusive reform | she/her