Holiday Blues – How to have Happy Holidays being away from home

Can you imagine the holidays without your family and friends? For most, this doesn’t sound very appealing.  Well, for most of the international students studying abroad in the U.S. for a better education this is reality.  It isn’t easy for these college students to dish out a few thousand dollars to travel to their homeland for the holidays.  As a result, some students get homesick and feel the holiday blues.

There are a few fun things that you can do to have happy holidays in the U.S.!

  1. Create new Traditions:  Gather with other international students to celebrate your own holiday party by cooking, savoring each other’s exotic cuisines and exchanging gifts.  Sharing traditional holiday dishes, music/dances, games, etc.  is a great way to spend the holiday season with friends and overcome homesickness.
  2. Travel:  Take the time to go to a place in the U.S. you’d always wanted to visit.  By traveling on the 24th/25th December you will even most likely get cheaper airfare/travel tickets.  If you’re studying up North, you could travel down South to get lay on the beach and take in some sun, or travel North and try skiing for the first time!
  3. International Student Office: Many campuses organize holiday parties for international students or small trips to nearby places to spend a few days together.  Check with your school to find out what they have to offer!
  4. Spend the holidays with an American friend: If you have made some American friends by now, they may be happy to have you join them and their families for part of the holidays.  Americans are very welcoming and getting to experience true American Style Holidays is a lot of fun!
  5. Reflect and Volunteer: Take the time to reflect on yourself, what you have achieved and what your goals for the coming year are.  You could also help out others who don’t even have a home and volunteer at the local shelter.  Doing good and giving back will make you feel good and help others.

Homesickness may never completely go away. Thankfully, building strong, lasting friendships and exchanging international traditions and customs makes being away from home during the holidays a little easier. After all, it is a great feeling to know that you’re not alone in a foreign country.

Happy holidays everyone and may the joy of the season surround you!

Leave a Reply