Home Customized Faculty-Led The Ebbs and Flows of Homesickness

The Ebbs and Flows of Homesickness

The Ebbs and Flows of Homesickness | AIFS Study Abroad

Last Updated on March 3, 2020 by AIFS Abroad Customized Faculty-Led

Now’s the moment I give myself a much deserved pat on the back, as well as do a little victory dance. I have survived three weeks in London, and so far it’s been grand.

Although I am enjoying myself, I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss my family or my pets and the little quirks of home that are so familiar to me. I would like to think I have adjusted to London life quite well, but homesickness does creep up on me.

Sometimes it comes in waves, where I think of giving my parents a ring later in the day and once I do, everything calms down. Other times it comes in tsunamis, where I see something that reminds me of my mum and suddenly I am a weepy mess, wishing I was back home with everything I miss so dearly.

I went a solid week when I first arrived feeling like a bionic woman, completely invincible and ready to take on the world. However, the first time I rung up my dad, the call ended with me bursting into tears because I know that my dad, although a man of few words, was missing me as much as I was missing him.

For some people homesickness is immediate once they leave, while for others they don’t experience it at all. Just remember that homesickness is a spectrum and wherever you land on that spectrum is totally normal.

Rather than letting your adventures be dampened by your sadness of missing home, think of all the wonderful memories and experiences you could be making instead!

Here is a list of a few things that have helped me deal with homesickness:

  1. I send postcards to loved ones back home. I can write out how I’m feeling to them, and in return they get a little souvenir that lets them know I’m thinking of them.
  2. I brought photos of my family and friends to hang up on my walls. Sometimes just being able to look up and see photos is enough to calm the homesickness.
  3. I try to stay busy! When I’ve finished school work and other obligations, I go out to explore the city. I know that if I sit in my flat, I’ll only go stir crazy. If I’m occupied with adventures, I have less time to miss everyone.
  4. I keep a journal of all the adventures I go on and even the little bits of everyday living. I do this not only for my own benefit, but I think of all of my loved ones back home that will want to know about everything I’ve done while abroad! I write it all down so that I can share it with them once I get back.
  5. I made my flat a home. I went the extra mile when I moved in and decorated my flat a bit. I strung lights above my bed and hung up the photos of my family. It may seem trivial, but doing those little bits really transformed my flat from someplace plain to my cozy little haven. It may not be my bedroom back at my parent’s house, but it sure does feel like home for the three months I’ll be here!

Do you have any tips on combating homesickness? Leave them in the comments below!

This content was contributed by Edinette Dasalla, who is studying abroad this fall on an AIFS customized faculty-led program in London, England through the Northern California Study Abroad Consortium.

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