Spring has started! It’s been a while since most of us got back to studying again. However, summer is still far away and you might start missing home again as an international student. Homesickness is different for everybody; some people feel it more intensely than others. Moreover, it happens to most of us, so here are some tips from students on how to cope with homesickness.
1. Spend more time with people around you
I realized that I got less homesick when I planned everything ahead and kept myself busy. Spending time with my friends always feels healing and makes me feel at home. Especially when we visit new places together or even just go out to have a coffee.
2. Make your house feel like home
I decorated my wall full of memories from my friends from back home and my current friends. Sometimes when I study, looking at those pictures makes me feel more motivated and makes me realize why I came here to pursue my passion here.
3. Talk about your feelings!
If you do not feel comfortable talking about homesickness with your friends, you can contact your faculty’s student advisor about the issue. In my first year, it really helped me to understand that most people go through homesickness and talking about it made me perceive my feelings further.
4. Acknowledge the differences and try your best to enjoy them
When I first came here, I started to realize how different the culture was. In the beginning, I would point out all the differences I feel and see. However, as I progressed I started to like these distinct features of the Netherlands and tried to embrace them as much as I could. For some of us, here became a second home but for others here may be a temporary place that they have created a lot of beautiful memories in.
5. Take up a new hobby
This one may seem like a classic, but it is basically similar to keeping yourself busy. I saw how much more time I had when I started to live away from my parents and home. Trying hobbies like learning a new language, dancing, arts, reading can be very fun to do!
Whether you are an exchange student or a full-time bachelor student, journaling can be a good way to store your memories and to see how you felt during a certain time-period. This journal will show you that the bad days are not here permanently. It can help you battle with specific feelings that you are going through. In addition, you can even turn it into a traveling journal or exchange/year abroad journal to keep everything together.
Tip: If you are a new student that will join us next year, you can join the EUR buddy program. When I came here for the first time, my buddy helped me so much, and we are still friends! In addition to this, you can apply to be a buddy in the beginning of the year, as a new hobby.
Written by Birsu Obalar, from the Content Committee