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How to cope with homesickness when studying abroad

So, I’ve returned from Sweden and my month studying abroad. Safe to say, I had the best time of my life. Honestly, would recommend hands down. However, all this fun didn’t come without some hard times: nothing is ever perfect. So, I have decided to talk to you about how to deal with missing your family and homesickness when studying abroad.

Phone calls/Video calls are your best friends.

This is how I survived. I don’t think I’ve ever rang my parents so much. While I’m in Notts at Uni I barely call my parents and they don’t call me. Shamelessly, I’m going to admit that I only ever really call them if I need something. Sorry Mum and Dad, I love you really.

How to cope with homesickness when studying abroad

However, I shocked myself this month by calling my parents pretty much ever day or couple of days “just for a chat”. It got to the point where my parents were so unused to it they kept asking, but what do you want? Why are you calling us? I wasn’t glued to my phone at all but I would ring them about the silliest things: this cool pastry I found at the supermarket, if one of my friends said something funny, if I just saw a cute dog…

This is how I got by though. It was really nice to hear my parents’ voice on the other end of the phone and really made me feel at ease. Even if you don’t feel the need to call them everyday, setting up time slots throughout your study abroad period for calls home really make your transition into foreign life easier and helps you cope with homesickness when studying abroad. I promise you.

How to cope with homesickness when studying abroad

Bring something cute from home.

This was another way I found allowed me settle into life abroad easier. I tried to bring a cute picture of my family abroad but unfortunately my baggage allowance wouldn’t allow it and it had to go… However, I did manage to sneak in a cute card from my boyfriend which reminded me of him and all the fun times we had before going away. It made missing him bearable and made sure the homesickness didn’t ruin my time there.

Take lots of photos to send home.

How to cope with homesickness when studying abroad

I found that this was a really nice way to feel like my friends and family were involved in my trip. It meant I didn’t feel wholly isolated from them. I made use of the ‘1 second a day’ app which allowed me to input a photo a day to create a video montage of my time abroad. It was a cute thing to show to my parents once I got home and meant they knew I was doing something exciting every day and enjoying myself.

I also would send them random pictures as my time abroad went on. Random flavour of cider? Sent. Interesting chocolate? Sent. Cute sunset? Sent. Pictures of myself with friends? Sent. I can promise you that this will make you feel closer to your missed ones; they will appreciate it tonnes too!

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How to cope with homesickness when studying abroad

Harriet Swift

Employability Writer. Harriet studies English Literature at the University of Nottingham and writes a weekly column focusing on graduate employment.