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Taking time away from your friends and family to embark on an academic journey abroad can be an intimidating commitment to make, especially when you start thinking about how hard it will be to live away from home for months on end. It’s common for students to become homesick at some point, as understandably people do tend to miss the familiar faces and sentimental places that they’ve become accustomed to. With that said, here are 3 tips you can use to fight that dreaded homesick feeling when you’re living and studying abroad.
1. Book Comfortable Student Accommodation
Staying in a cosy and homey environment can do a lot to help fend off feelings of homesickness, as it’s easier to create a “home away from home” when you’re comfortable in your surroundings. Likewise, student-oriented accommodation will put you in close proximity to your peers, so you’ll have the company of others to keep your mind off home during hours when you’re not in class. Collegiate is an example of a popular provider that offers top-notch hospitality for students in Spain, Portugal, and the UK. You can also find and compare top student accommodation providers using regional search terms like “student accommodation Valencia.”
2. Use Video Chat Frequently
Talking on the phone, texting, and sending emails back and forth just isn’t the same as seeing someone you love face-to-face. Those personal conversations and experiences are what many students miss the most after they’ve been studying abroad for a while. Using video conferencing features in video chat clients like Skype, Facetime, or Facebook Messenger is an easy and reliable way to virtually visit your friends and family from the comfort of your dorm. With enough video correspondence, you’ll find that being away from your loved ones isn’t nearly as unbearable as it is when you have to go months without seeing them.
3. Get Out and Make New Friends
Seeing the sights and having fun social experiences will help take your mind off home and may even have you wanting to stay abroad longer. Conversely, letting yourself sit idle and lonely in a depressed mood is obviously a bad course of action when you’re trying to avoid homesickness. Keep yourself occupied with new relationships and events and you’ll not only find yourself thinking less about home, you’ll also enjoy yourself more and make better memories. While you might be telling yourself that you’d rather be at home with your old friends, there’s a whole world of opportunities to explore, so don’t let a little pessimism hold you back.
4. Learn to Cherish the Away Time
In closing, when you start to feel as though you’re really missing home, it’s important to remind yourself that when you return home you’ll probably be looking back and wishing you had done more during your time abroad. There’s a spin on an old saying that goes: “the grass is always greener where you water it,” which simply means that you can choose to make the most of where you’re at or you can waste your time wishing you were somewhere else.
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