Hannah Baughman is a CISabroad student studying in London this semester and hails from Emporia State University in Kansas. Read on as she gives you her top tips to avoid homesickness while abroad.
According to dictionary.com, the definition of homesickness is experiencing a longing for one’s home during a period of absence from it. When you study abroad, it is really easy to feel homesick, because you are away from your home and you really have no way of getting back to it. To deal with this, I have come up with a few tips that I believe will really help anyone deal with homesickness.
- Don’t wallow.
I am the queen of wallowing. I am the type of person who will stay in her room all day with the lights off and feel sorry for herself. However, this is not going to help you get over your homesickness. If all you do is sit in your room and think about how homesick you are then you are never going to get better. You need to get outside and get some fresh air! Hang out with your friends and enjoy your new culture, because that is why you are studying abroad in the first place! So stop wallowing and get out there!
- Find something in your new culture that reminds you of home.
This could be anything from food, a clothing store, or even a park that reminds you of home. For me, this is McDonald’s. I find it quite humorous, because I don’t really enjoy eating McDonald’s at home but I have eaten it so many times in London. Chicken nuggets really make me feel at home.
- Call/video chat/write your family.
I try to keep in touch with my family every single day, and while I understand this might not help others with homesickness it really does help me. My family is currently 6 hours behind me. This means it can be difficult to keep in touch with them at certain time, but we make it work. I also try to talk to my best friends as much as I possibly can. However, this doesn’t mean that I am on my phone every single second of every single day. I am enjoying my experiences while also keeping my family up to date with what I am doing.
This goes along with number one, but you really need to get out there and explore. I have really enjoyed going places by myself and trying to understand my city with a new perspective. I have found so many nooks and crannies in London and this makes me feel like I am actually a part of the city itself. It also makes me feel like a local because I am not afraid about going places by myself.
- Talk about it.
Chances are your friends are feeling exactly what you are feeling, so talk to them about it. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and homesick, because everybody gets this way sometimes. Find an outlet for your feelings, whether this be talking with friends or writing about it. I can guarantee that there will always be someone there to listen to you and that will help you feel secure about what you are going through.
I hope these few tips can help somebody else, because they are really helping me. I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog post and I will see you next week!
Until next time -H