Sarah’s Tips for Fighting Homesickness

Anyone who has traveled away from home for a significant amount of time knows that feelings of homesickness can strike at any time and can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. Recently scientists have identified what homesickness really is- a distinct adjustment disorder with clear signs and symptoms. Those who suffer from homesickness often feel anxiety, sadness and nervousness when being far away from friends, family and the familiar.

Students at Murray State University

It is important to remember that it is completely normal for you to experience these emotions and that they are an unavoidable part of your cultural adjustment to living in the United States. Working through feelings of sadness and depression associated with homesickness actually helps you to develop greater coping strategies and ultimately improves your cross-cultural adaptation skills. Here are some tips to help you reduce feelings of homesickness in the future.

Tip 1: Stay positive

Do you find yourself constantly thinking about how life at home was better than life in the United States? If so, STOP! Keeping a positive attitude and open mind each and every day will help you enjoy your short time here in the US and stop missing home so much.

Tip 2: Write, don’t call

If hearing the voice of your family and friends from home has the opposite effect than you would like and actually makes you sad, you should start sharing your experience though emails and letters. Limiting calls to once a week is also a good strategy for maintaining connections to home while not taking away too much from your UGRAD experience.

Tip 3: Keep busy

An active schedule will keep your mind in the present and also help you make new friends. Take advantage of all the resources your campus has to offer and join a club or two.

Tip 4: Talk

Speaking with people who understand what you are going through can be incredibly helpful in working through your emotions. It is important to keep in mind that American students and not just international students feel homesick from time to time.  World Learning Staff are always here to support you as well.

 – Sarah LaRosa