If you are an international student, you can expect the journey to be exciting and daunting at the same time. It is exciting because you have a whole new experience in a different part of the world, meeting people from diverse backgrounds and cultures and discovering a new sense of independence.

On the flip side, the thought of being thousands of miles away from home and loved ones can make you homesick. You may feel isolated and depressed frequently, despite reaching your dream destination abroad. Thankfully, there are ways to deal with homesickness, provided you take the right approach. Here are some viable measures international students can rely on.

CREATE A ROUTINE

Creating a healthy routine gives you a good start for dealing with homesickness away from home. Adapting to a new class schedule on the university campus will require you to come up with a realistic routine. Doing so will help you cope with the feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. You need to pick a minute-by-minute schedule, but a rough plan is enough to give you a new start. Start by creating a sleep-wake schedule, setting meal times, and deciding your route to the campus. A routine gives you a sense of control and comfort, which matters a lot in new settings.

PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE

Putting yourself out there in a new place is like stepping outside your comfort zone. It can be challenging, even for extroverts. But you can start small by forging relationships with your classmates, roommates, or neighbours. Study together, hang out with your gang, and have a good time. You can consider signing up for a sports league, joining a student organization, or attending events, or volunteering depending on your preferences. These activities get you more involved and open the opportunity to build friendships for life. Remember that you are not alone because other international students may be struggling with the same situation. Break the ice, and you can make a new beginning without a lot of effort.

STAY CONNECTED WITH LOVED ONES

Even as you embark on this new journey, you must stay connected with family and friendsback home. Fortunately, technology has made it easy to be in touch through video calls and apps. You can even indulge in group calls with friends studying in different parts of the world. If you’re struggling with isolation, reach out to a person you trust. Staying connected makes it easier to deal with homesickness as you do not feel sad and lonely even during the toughest moments.

LEVERAGE STUDENT RESOURCE

You can seek support from student resources because most universities have them for international students. Get involved in volunteering activities and student events. Talk to a peer wellness coach and join peer mentoring programmes. You can also find support in workshops meant for students struggling with mental health issues. Remember that help is at hand, and you only have to reach out for it.

Feeling homesick as an international student is natural, so you shouldn't feel shy or apprehensive about admitting the problem. Find ways to deal with it with these measures. You can address the concern sooner rather than later.

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