3 Replies from Mentors
MarieSenior Year StudentLoyola Marymount University-Bring favorite things or reminders of home i.e. family/friend/pet pictures or favorite blanket/pillow/stuffed animal. -Designate a day and time to call home every week but don’t spend too much time on Facebook, IM, or Skype. -Explore, go out and have fun being in a different country! Make new friends! Travel! -Find fun activities to do and get involved in your community, i.e. join the church choir, play sports, volunteer. -Talk to other students who may also be feeling homesick. -Write down your thoughts in a journal.
Ana CamposAssociate Director, Office of Undergraduate Student HousingUniversity of ChicagoI think one of the best ways that I found helped my friends who were homesick (I never was), was to remind them that this visit was temporary. That this was a once in a lifetime opportunity/experience, so we needed to just put ourselves out there and enjoy it as much as possible. If they were having a hard time, I’d ask them what they did enjoy/like about the experience thus far – however minor – and use that as the starting point. I also found that if they spent all their time thinking about their significant other and/or family back home – and constantly writing to them or calling them – that it was all the harder to help them to connect. Ultimately, people have to make up their own mind about the situation that they are in – to make the most of it – or to be sad. I would do what I could to continually invite them to do things with me and others from our group or local friends we had made so that they didn’t just sit in their bedroom missing home. Now, 20 years later, the two friends that I had who were quite homesick while we were abroad, have both been married for many years to that significant other that they missed so much while we were abroad, and both, ultimately, have fond memories of their time abroad.
AmeliaSenior Year StudentUniversity of California, Los AngelesHome-sickness is inevitable, even if you are independent or nomadic. Whether you have a home or you are constantly travelling, there are aspects of each place that you will miss. To deal with this, it is important to first realize that your experience will realistically not last a lifetime (in most cases), so you will have to make the most of your time abroad. After having spent most of your life in one location, this is your chance to be somewhere else and do something different from everyone else, so don't focus on the negatives of being sad or homesick! If you will be returning home, then you should realize that your time is temporary and your usual comforts are only away for a matter of time. Homesickness can be furthered by keeping in touch too much or reviewing photos from back home too often--stay away from over-indulging in nostalgia, because you may be wasting moments to create new and exciting memories.