When you’re a student in a foreign country, it is only natural to start missing home. Finding yourself hundreds of miles away, surrounded by new people and new things to do is hugely exciting, but can also be daunting at the same time. Here we have our top tips to help you stay connected with family and friends at home and avoid the homesickness.
Join Your University’s International Student Association
Most universities have their own International Student Association (or ISA), which is there to help overseas students with any problems they have. Often they are one of the biggest societies at the university and are a brilliant way to make settling in to a new country that bit easier.
As well as offering advice and help should you need it, most ISA’s also organise loads of events over the academic year. They are therefore a brilliant way to make friends with other students in your situation and to share any problems you may have.
Phone Home Regularly
You may think that calling friends and family at home from a foreign country would get pretty expensive pretty quickly. However, there are plenty of options that make it affordable to stay in touch. There are dozens of different phone companies that offer very cheap rates on international calls. Similarly, there are online options that offer you free video calls over the internet to anywhere in the world. Whilst staying in contact by email is fine, nothing quite beats the sound of your Mum’s voice.
Share Your Experiences Online
An important way to make sure you still feel connected with home is to let your family and friends know what you are up to. The internet makes this so much easier than it used to be and you really several options at the click of a mouse.
One obvious way to do this (that I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you) is to regularly upload photos on Facebook or other social networks. However, another brilliant way to keep everyone up to date is to keep a blog about your experiences. With a blog you can keep a written diary and regularly update it with photos you’ve taken. Not only will it be great way for you to keep a record of your time abroad, but will also keep loved ones at home up to date.
Join University Societies
At university you’ll find there are literally hundreds of societies you can join. Societies are basically groups of people who have the same interest. They are a good way to make new friends, keep up your interests and experience new ones, but they are also perfect for feeling connected with your home country.
The first society you should look for is the one for people of your nationality. Most nationalities will have their own society and talking to people from your home country can really help with any homesickness. Similarly, if you join societies in sports or hobbies that you enjoyed back home, you’ll get into the swing of your new life much faster.
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