Homesickness: Exchange Student edition

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I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study abroad for a semester, in Zurich, Switzerland. Since the beginning of September, I have been living and studying in a different country, and it has certainly had its ups and downs, as does university for every student.

Although I’ve personally not found homesickness to be much of a problem while I’ve been living here, it is inevitable that we all have times where we just have a sudden urge or longing for home, and I have certainly had experience of this feeling.

While I think it is a good idea to accept, rather than resist, homesickness, try not to let it take over your life. Today I’m going to give a few tips for how to cope with homesickness if you are struggling.

Make the most of your time.

A deep one to start off with! I think sometimes all you need is some perspective on the situation to help you. For me it has been a big help just realising how short this time abroad is, meaning I would rather be enjoying myself instead of missing home. I would encourage you to have the same attitude.

If you’re also away at uni, take heart knowing that it won’t be long before you see your family and friends again, and really just try to embrace the whole experience, making the most of all things on offer. All too soon you’ll be heading home anyway, so you don’t want to have any regrets!

Ring friends/family.

That being said, if you are feeling really homesick and just feel the need to chat to someone who knows you really well, like a parent or close friend, then by all means go ahead. Enjoy a catch up, let them know how you’re feeling, and hopefully you’ll end the call feeling that little bit better.

Take advantage of home comforts.

Whether it be a favourite cushion, item of clothing, or something else entirely, these seemingly little things can actually be very meaningful. Making your room feel cosy and homely can really make a positive difference in how you’re feeling.

Having cards from family members or friends up in your room can be helpful 🙂

Make an effort to chat to people, be social, and do things.

It can be easy when you’re feeling like this to want to hibernate under your duvet but try to gently push yourself to go to a few different social things during the week. This doesn’t necessarily have to involve an all night raucous party, it could just be something like meeting a good friend for a coffee.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, know that these feelings are temporary.

If you are struggling with homesickness, be encouraged by the fact that this won’t go on forever. You will settle, and everything will be okay.

Words by Hope Elliott

Hope and Vicky are your lifestyle editors.

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