4 Ways to Fight Homesickness

Going to college is a life-changing event for everyone, but for  international students, it’s a bit tougher.


Well, for starters, many times the family of an international student is not just a few hundred miles away…they’re separated by continents and oceans.  Also, the language, culture and new class structure can really create barriers that prevent these students from getting the most out of the first few weeks.

With this in mind, we’ve come up with 4 tips (or commands) to help students fight any feelings of loneliness and homesickness.  

  1. Stay busy!  When one’s emotions gets the best of them, boredom can usually be one of the main causes.  The first few weeks at school can always be tough, especially since the majority of classes take a few sessions before the real work starts, and extracurriculars are just starting up.  Always try to join a club, eat with new and different people, and try to stay out of your dorm room as much as possible.  We’re all social creatures, and the more we increase our own personal networks, the more of a net we have to fall back on.
  2. Put down that phone (and don’t touch Skype)!  Although you may want to contact your family as much as possible, it’s best to try and maintain some distance.  Talking once a week may help you settle into your new routine, and it will help you from continually thinking about how much you miss your family.
    At the same time, some students may find that talking daily can help to reduce your anxiety.  It all depends on your personality, and once you learn more about yourself, you’ll most likely figure out which strategy works the best for you.
  3. Know that everyone else feels the same!  Behind all the smiles of the first few weeks of freshmen year, it’s important to realize that everyone else feels that same as you.  While some people are better at hiding emotions than others, it’s important to realize that almost everyone is on their own for the first time and missing their family and friends.
  4. Remember: it will be over soon.  In  good times and bad, this piece of advice is always important to remember.  A bad day at college may seem like the end of the world, but know that it’s only one day.  Four years at college will definitely seem like an eternity when you first start, but take it from those that have been there before you – it passes by before you even know it.

Have any tips on overcoming homesickness?  Tell us in the the comments how you managed through your freshman year (or how you’re planning to do it)!

7 Responses to 4 Ways to Fight Homesickness

  1. jesstine says:

    Im so proud the passion and dedicated to all missionaries. Proud to be a the family international (tfi)

  2. Reblogged this on William Penn University Study Abroad and commented:
    Being away from home can prove to be a struggle for anyone – but imagine finding yourself in a different country for four years, with little hope of returning home prior to your graduation. This is the reality that many students face at some point during their time as an international student. Students – and friends, college administrators, coaches, etc. – will do better knowing that homesickness will occur. What the true test is what will the student do when they feel that way.

  3. Talking to my mom HELPED me (she encouraged me to stay at school and not transfer) but talking to my friends made it worse. They were always telling me about the fun things they were doing together.

    • Thanks for the note! We agree that sometimes talking to friends actually can make people feel worse. But, what do you think the odds are that they were simply putting on a happy face?

  4. Pingback: 4 (More) Ways to Fight Homesickness « peertales

  5. Good article. Very well written

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