Your big dream of studying abroad was fulfilled. With excellent planning and guidance from your education agency, you landed happily in your destination country, looking forward to the sea of experiences to be explored and all the opportunities that lie ahead.
As everything in life has a “but”, little time has passed and something you didn’t expect to feel so much arises: nostalgia! You can miss many things: family, friends, food, our pets… and how to deal with the longing when it squeezes your heart? Keep reading this post, CatEight.com has 6 amazing tips to deal with this feeling and not spoil your trip. Check out!
1. Focus on new experiences
Is it normal to miss everything? And how it is! Living in a different country, even for a short time, is leaving your comfort zone, that is, being out of the environment you know well. This makes the differences cause feelings like “missing what was before”.
Open your eyes to new ways to make things you already knew: that restaurant might not have the horse steak you love, but it might have the best lasagna of your life! Allow yourself to experience new experiences and learn about other cultures.
2. Get out of your nest
Who doesn’t miss the love of father and mother, right? After all, even if the people who are part of your new day-to-day study program are amazing, the affection and care of the parents are irreplaceable.
Today, there are countless ways to contact on the internet: social networks, Skype, WhatsApp. It is possible to make voice and video calls to reduce the distance, but establish times to speak with your parents, otherwise you may miss the purpose of your trip, which is immersion and constant language training. And remember the time difference: a call in the middle of the night can be quite a scare for anyone who cares about you!
3. Increase your network of contacts
One of the hardest but most rewarding parts of the study is meeting new people during your trip. However, in an outbreak of homesickness, you can keep comparing your friends with them, which is capable of harming the construction of your network of contacts.
Studying abroad allows you to broaden your knowledge of cultures and teaches a lot about living diversity. Let yourself be enchanted by life stories and knowledge, you may find a friend for life there, right in front of you, trying to teach you how to pronounce a word you never used. And the network you make can be used to plan upcoming trips and visits.
Make contact with your friends “from home” over the internet, but be careful not to lose focus and spend hours and hours in your room, on social networks and chat apps. They’ll want to hear all about your adventures when you get back, so don’t anticipate everything!
Having a lot of contact with your friends can help to deal with homesickness, but don’t let your social circle only have people who speak your language, as this can reduce your cultural immersion.
4. Search for new flavors
We spent a lifetime accustomed to the flavors of our country, which has a huge variety of cuisine, so nothing is more common than missing your own country’s food.
Studying is the time for you to discover, and that includes new spices, flavors and dishes. You know that Thai food you never risked because it was expensive? Or that typical dish you’ve heard so much about? This is the time to quench your curiosity.
Instead of thinking about the food you don’t have, think about all the foods that are available around you. A simple trip to the market can show you options you didn’t even know were there.
And if you really can’t, if the desire for rice and beans is huge, look for a Chinese restaurant or try to find products in markets that work with foreign items. Offering a dinner to your new friends and introducing them to our cuisine can help ease your taste buds and make people from other countries get to know our culture better!
5. Explore the destination country
One of the best ways to get around homesickness is to visit new places. Beaches, historical sites, tourist attractions…… with each novelty, you’ll fall in love with the country you’ve chosen and, when you realize it, you won’t think so much about what’s left, but about everything that’s arrived!
If you are in a place that allows and facilitates this, travel! Discover places beyond the city you live in, the countryside or smaller cities. A weekend away from your accommodation can be a recharge of batteries for the study week.
6. Make pet friends
If you have a beloved pet, you can be sure that you will miss him too. Our pets end up being part of the family, and we can feel sad when they aren’t there to wake us up in the morning or welcome us after a hard day.
When that time comes, take a tour of the city. Find places where people take their pets for walks and interact with them, if the owners allow. In addition to being a great way to make contact with the natives, it can reduce the longing for living with a pet from time to time.
Some programs allow students to do work, such as taking dogs for a walk. Check with your agency and, if it’s all right, look for opportunities like this. You’ll make a little extra money and have that energy that only pets can give us again!
Nostalgia is inevitable, but it can be a pleasant thing to feel. It’s just that you don’t let yourself be dominated by it to the point of compromising everything you’ve always wanted to live in another country. Over time, you will find your way to how to deal with missing everything and have a happy and productive abroad study!