Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to – Edward Pearce (English political journalist, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph)
It’s a big challenge being a student, it’s an even a bigger challenge being an interstate or international student. I assume that student life in your own country or state would be easy, but being in a different state or country may be a little bit difficult. I believe homesickness is another challenge you might have to face when going to a different country unless you have family or friends.
As I came to Australia alone, knowing absolutely no one, I faced this problem every day for the first few months. This is a very common and natural and feeling, but again you cannot just sit at a place and hope for things to change. I made a habit of talking to friends and family regularly through video calls which worked out for me until I figured I didn’t have the time and credit to make calls all the time so I went out and talked to people and made friends.
Anyway, that’s not the point, this article shares the experience of students’ homesick stories and gives some ideas of how to deal with it. According to my research with students across different universities in Melbourne, I discovered there are many people struggling to overcome homesickness – you often hear about ways they’ve discovered of making things better for themselves. Some students’ experience presented below, followed by other people’s suggestions given by international student support. I hope you’ll find these tips for battling homesickness helpful.
Halle Gebremedhin – Deakin University
Karen Chepkemoi – Deakin College
Ennes Dikerel – Deakin University
Lydia Alvira- Deakin University
Olivia Patricella – Monash University (Left)
Mercy Liv – Monash University (Right)
Durga Dhalani- Deakin College
Here are my tips, the things I use to overcome homesickness. I often:
- Chat with friends and family back home via Whats app, Facebook or Snap chat video phone calls.
- Talk to a counsellor about your feelings – someone who will listen objectively and give good ideas and advice.
- Keep busy – go have a drink or brunch with friends; check out any programs available to attend at University or the club’s market day for activities you can join.
- Participate and chat in class which is a way to interact with classmates.
- Listen to music and occupy yourself with movies.
- Write a to-do list of things you would enjoy doing when you move to a foreign country.
- Find your community in Melbourne – most countries have a community group on Facebook.
This is what Brian White from Deakin International Student Support had to say.
Brian White (second from right)