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HomesicknessThere's a lot to do before leaving home to study in England. Unfortunately, many international students simply don't have time to prepare for the emotional impact that comes with entering an entirely different culture.

Homesickness is very common among international students, so if you find yourself feeling displaced or lonely, know that you are not alone and try to be patient.

While there's no specific time limit, rest assured that those feelings will eventually pass. In the meantime, use these guidelines to start taking an active part in adjusting to your new surroundings.

Identifying homesickness

Homesickness is a feeling or feelings that occur naturally when a person experiences a sudden change in environment or routine.

It can manifest as vague sadness or uncertainty, anxiety, change in sleeping/eating patterns, feelings of isolation, headaches and dizziness, inability to concentrate, and/or a desire to stay in close contact with people from home. For some people, these feelings pass quickly and for others it takes longer, but identifying homesickness is often the first step in resolving it.

Taking action

If you are feeling homesick, or finding settling into life in the UK difficult or overwhelming, there is a great deal of support which the University can offer. The International Advice Service based in The Student Hub is here to support you throughout your student journey. You can speak to a member of the team in confidence about any worries or concerns you may have. They can offer support, advice and guidance and also help you access other support services which offer help.

Visit: The Student Hub
Tel: 023 8201 5200

Making an effort to meet new people can help tremendously when dealing with homesickness.

Opportunities for positive social interaction at Southampton Solent University can include:

  • visiting your student union.
  • attending sporting events.
  • signing up for campus activities.
  • checking out local music and arts venues.
  • joining clubs and groups.

With practice, you'll find it easier to make friends and get involved. Look to lecturers, advisers and other international students for tips on what's happening in and around campus.

Making room for it all

Studying in England will put plenty of physical space between you and your home, but it's also important to distance yourself psychologically—at least for now. Try to focus on creating new routines and setting bigger academic goals. For starters, try to speak English exclusively, and limit phone calls and/or email communication with friends and family back home to one day a week.

At the same time, you don't want to lose your connection to the familiar altogether; in fact, maintaining close friendships and keeping a few personal items from home within reach can help lift your spirits on those not-so-great days.

Remember that by exploring other cultures you are not abandoning your own - you may even be surprised to learn that you're not missing out on much back home. You're simply allowing yourself to grow academically and gain experiences that will shape you for a brighter future.

Useful resources

Page last updated on Tuesday 10 July 2018 at 11.45am.


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