How To Deal with Homesickness When Studying in the USA?
Feeling homesick? Miss home a little extra today? Like you, multiple international students face homesickness when moving to a new country. This is a normal emotion experienced by most international students since they leave behind their comfort and close friends and families to pursue their dreams in a new country. Your decision to study abroad has always been on your checklist. Now that you live at your dream study-abroad destination, the USA, don’t let homesickness prevent you from following your academic and professional dreams.
The best way to overcome homesickness, especially when studying abroad, is by following a range of practices, such as conversing with good friends or practicing self-care. So, if you wish to find solutions on how to deal with homesickness, we have shared 20 tips proven to help you overcome homesickness starting today.
20 Full-Proof Tips to Overcome Homesickness while Studying in the US
Getting out of the homesickness phase is challenging; however, it is not difficult. We have shared a list of meaningful tips you can follow whenever you feel homesick in the USA. Here is the complete list:
- Accept your emotions
The first thing you should do to overcome homesickness is to accept these emotions. This is a common emotion experienced by anyone settling in a new place. When you move into a new country, there are so many changes which you need to adjust to, such as the climate, the food, the environment and even the feeling of your new home. Instead of ignoring this emotion, start to analyze it. Doing the latter will make it easy for you to tackle or reduce the feeling of homesickness.
- Create a daily routine
When you sit idle, you will be overwhelmed with emotions that will force you to overthink and miss your home more. Thus, it is better to conduct a routine that will keep you busy throughout the day. The routine can include simple activities such as waking up at 7 am, making your bed, praying, cooking food, walking to university, buying groceries, etc. Following this routine will keep you up and running and help reduce the feeling of homesickness.
- Find a comfort spot
Everyone has a comfort spot. This spot makes you feel better and keeps you calm. Examples of this could include a café, a park, etc. As you settle down in the USA, find that comfort spot. Choose a place that makes you feel good and lets you explore your thoughts better. For instance, you can go to a café near your home where you can sip on some hot beverage and view the crowd outside the café window. You can even write down your thoughts in the journal, and once you feel better, you can go home.
- Divert your attention
You will encounter the feeling of homesickness more often in your initial days in the USA. Instead of getting a headache just thinking about it, switch your thoughts to doing something else. This could include anything, such as watching TV, reading a book, cooking your comfort food, etc. The more you divert your attention to do the things you love, the lesser you experience homesickness.
- Surround yourself with different cultures
USA is home to a diverse culture. You can find various other students that hail from different countries globally. Engaging yourself with such cultures is always better allowing you to enhance your understanding about them better. Surround yourself with similar students so you can have meaningful conversations that let you deal with homesickness better.
- Connect with your loved ones virtually
Speaking to your loved ones will always make you feel better when you feel low. However, connecting with them every time will only make you feel more homesick. It is suggested that you could engage with your loved ones in a minimum time each day. Connect with them on an audio call or via online apps such as Skype.
- Make new friends
Another great way to tackle your homesickness is to make new friends. Be open to making new friends so that your university days in the USA continue to be smooth and fun, and you will not experience homesickness as often. Friends abroad become your family away from home.
- Practice self-care
Whenever you feel homesick, the best way to overcome it is via practicing self-care. You will be alone in a new country, which means you are solely responsible for caring for yourself mentally and physically. When you practice self-care, you prioritize yourself and start doing things that keep you sane and happy. Self-care practices include meditation, reading, hydrating yourself, exercising, etc.
- Analyze your academic goals
The purpose of arriving in the USA is to pursue your educational goals. You have worked hard to pass the admission process and be selected amongst many applicants at your dream university. Whenever you feel low or have the urge to return home, remember all the effort you put into arriving in the USA. This works as the best motivation factor to overcome homesickness.
- Utilize the services of student support
Most USA universities offer student support services catered to help international students in various ways. For instance, there are mental health programs and wellness programs to help overseas students anytime they feel low or are struggling to adjust to their new place. You can use such services as there are experts who can guide you on dealing with homesickness whilst staying in the USA.
A good exercise works well to help move away from sad or troubling thoughts and instead allows you to clear your mind better. When you exercise, you release endorphins that help your body feel good. It can help to reduce anxiety and low moods that can benefit you to think less about your home and instead focus on doing other things.
- Speak to past students
One of the perks of speaking to past students includes understanding how to deal with homesickness. Just like you, these students would have faced homesickness and had ways to deal with this emotion better. When you engage with them, you can learn valuable tips for dealing with such a situation. You can even join support groups that are dedicated to being a pillar of support to help students like you deal with study-abroad issues such as homesickness.
- Add elements of your old home to the new one
Another way to feel at home is to decorate your new home like your old one. For instance, you are aware of what your old room looked like. There would be lights or photos of your friends and families, etc. Incorporate the same things into your new place so you feel at ease when spending time here. Nothing can replace your home environment; however, creating a similar version can help you feel less homesick.
- Have an open mind
The USA is a good place once you make it your home. Before you enter the country, ensure you arrive with an open mind that everything will be new from now on. You will be required to incorporate a few lifestyle changes to settle down in this country. Be open to new changes and start adjusting here positively.
- Travel more often
USA is home to multiple cities, such as New York, Chicago, and Seattle. Each city is well-known for its food, culture, nightlife and festivals. Enjoy this new country by exploring each town during your free time or weekend. Learn more about the USA’s diverse cultures and dive into their cuisine and rich history. Thus, the more travel plans you make, the better you will feel.
- Journal your feelings
If you’re an introvert who finds it difficult to express or share your feelings with others, a journal can be your bestfriend. Whenever you feel homesick, write down your thoughts so your mind feels at ease. Once you’ve completed writing your feelings, include quick solutions to help you move away from homesickness. You know yourself and your mind better, which will help you list answers to what can work with you better.
- Attend cultural activities
Most USA universities have cultural activities, which proves to be a great platform to learn about new cultures. As an international student, you can even host cultural nights to connect with other students who follow your culture. This helps you feel more at home, encourage insightful conversations, and find solutions to issues faced as a new student in the country.
- Limit your social media usage
Social media can be a blessing and a curse. While you see social media to keep track of what your friends and family are doing, at the same time, it can make you miss home. It is better to reduce your time on social media to move away from developing homesickness again.
- Attend academic workshops
Almost all USA universities conduct educational seminars for new international students. In these workshops, an expert will guide you through every journey of your stay in the USA. You will learn about the USA better, the culture, lifestyle factors and even tips on dealing with homesickness. Ensure you don’t miss out on all of this.
- Prepare your mind before arriving in the USA
Lastly, prepare yourself before you head to study in USA. Make a list of the things you need to do upon reaching the USA so that you have everything you need to get started on your new journey. Furthermore, it is always better to groom your mind for the new things you will encounter and have to live with once you leave your home. The journey to pursue your academics in the USA is not easy, but it isn’t impossible. With time, you will also consider the USA as your second home.
As an international student, you will always miss home. Homesickness is common, but students learn how to manage it with time. However, it would be best if you continued to aspire to achieve your study and career goals without letting this emotion impact your action. Now that you have the above-listed tips to overcome homesickness, you can confidently take more significant steps to achieve your ambitions. The USA is an ideal destination to pursue any higher education. If you wish to make any academic-related decisions, seek the guidance of our expert counsellors, who can help you better. Book a free 1-1 counselling session today!