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How to overcome homesickness when studying away from home

13/06/2023 |

Moving overseas is a big step towards your dream future. However, no matter how prepared you may have been to pack up your life and start this exciting new chapter, it’s completely normal to feel homesick now that you are on the other side.

Here are five tips to help make dealing with homesickness that little bit easier:

1. Give yourself time

First things first, you must remember you are not alone. It is normal to feel homesick in your first few weeks or months of studying abroad, you will just need to give yourself time to find your feet. You will be exploring a new city, experiencing a new culture, meeting new people, learning new content and creating new routines. Over time, this will become your new-normal and you will start to feel more settled.

2. Establish a routine 

If you are homesick, it's a good idea to keep busy and establish a daily or weekly routine. Your routine shouldn’t just be attending classes and study sessions to complete your assignments but should also include some fun activities! Some ideas could be a weekly trip to the beach, dinner with friends, a hike, or watching a sports game. A routine full of activities you enjoy will give you lots to look forward to, help you focus on the positives and allow you less time to miss home.

3. Keep doing what you enjoy and meet new people

Just because you’ve moved overseas, doesn't mean everything needs to change. It's important to keep up hobbies you enjoyed back home to help your new environment to feel more welcoming. At The University of Western Australia (UWA), we have over 160 clubs and societies that likely cover some of the fun activities or sporting teams that were important to your social life back home. If not, a search online will help you find nearby locations with like-minded people that enjoy doing the same hobbies you do.

4. Keep in contact with home 

Even if you are feeling homesick, it’s important to keep in touch with your family and friends back home too. Schedule regular phone calls or video calls that suit your loved ones, to give you something to look forward to and to keep up to date. They might also give you the pep talk you need to get going. Try not to spend too much time on social media as could make you feel worse!
Two students in kitchen in student accommodation at UWA


5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

All the feelings you are feeling are normal and there is no shame in asking for help. At UWA, we have a range of support services available to help our international students transition to life in Perth. The Living Room is a safe space for international students to feel at home on campus and there is always someone to talk to. We also offer counselling services and psychological services. Find out more about our student support services
Want to know more about joining us at UWA? Visit the international students page on our website, contact our Future Students Centre by submitting an online enquiry through askUWA or chat to a current international student.

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