Moving abroad for further studies is initially an exciting dream for every student [I can already feel that some of you are starting to relate to this feeling]. While many of us may find this experience thrilling and eye-opening, this transition can nevertheless turn out to be very challenging. For those mischievous students who have been at boarding schools in their home country for instance, staying away from the family shouldn’t be a huge problem. However, for those who are unfamiliar with this feeling it is important that you fight!! Fight for your dream to study at a prestigious university without even letting a single ounce of homesickness hurdle your way [Trust me, the rewards will be worth it!]
Homesickness can be referred to as an acute form of anxiety or emotional distress primarily caused by being physically away from your family. You may find certain difficulties in adjusting to a new place; culture;and environment, or experience a sudden pinch of loneliness and detachment from your support system. Well it is undeniably true that you will tend to stay on the line with your family and talk for hours in the beginning, or trying to compare every single thing in your new environment to your home place or even rejecting to adopt a different culture and social life so soon – We surely don’t expect your homesickness feelings to just vanish overnight, however you will have to put in some efforts and take off these homesick glasses for you to better see your new place and hopefully in a positive way. In this article we are going to provide you with a few tricks to help you take off those homesickness glasses faster!!
1. Explore your new environment
Come on! It’s a new country for you and lots of places, foods, and adventures to jump onto! Why would you want to dwell in your home, alone and think of all the negative things in life? Remember that ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop’. So beat the devil out of you and get out of your house to explore different places. Make a bucket list of the places to visit and activities that you need to complete during your stay in Malaysia. Time flies – You don’t want to finish your degree in Malaysia without exploring anything!
2. Transform your new house into a ‘Home’
One of the most prominent reason for being homesick resides in the difficulty of accepting your new country as home. Well I do understand that we humans are creatures of habits!! Oh Yes, we tend to hold onto many habits and when we are suddenly thrown into a pool of changes, we start creating feelings of unhappiness. For sure, you cannot carry your entire room and home abroad with you, but you do have so many ways to make your new space look and feel like a home – your home! (Maybe you could bring a teddy bear just like you had in your previous home) Make your space so comfortable, lively and bright that you feel happy to stay in there and excited to come back to everyday. In that way, you will feel that you have more control over your environment.
3. Take a Break From Skype
Skype? Or maybe modern generations prefer WhatsApp video call on their mobiles? Whatever it is, take a break from them! For sure, technology is a wonderful means of staying connected with your family wherever you are. I said ‘connected’! There is also a thing as being TOO connected! X If you end up talking to your family more than 4-5 hours per day, then you are only creating feelings of sadness for yourself instead of using that time to connect with your new space. Of course, it is important to stay in touch with your family, but you need to work on the balance between your time spent connecting yourself back home to the place you are actually living. This will definitely help you develop a sense of belonging in your new environment.
4. Make new friends and talk to others about your feeling
No one really wants to go on adventures alone! You might have come alone into this new country but remember how many students are like you. University life is the best life (Trust me on this, I so miss my university life) where you have the opportunity to meet a lot of people and make so many friends. Create your family of friends! Confide in those friends you feel most comfortable with about feelings you may be struggling with – chances are they’re going through a similar process, or have experienced something like it in the past and may be able to give you the support you need. Smile, laugh, go on trips with your friends, make study plans together, connect with your classmates, act crazy, take photos and selfies, try out the diversity of foods (Malaysia has an abundance of food that by the time you finish your course, you will still have more than hundreds new dishes pending to try…Well, no time to waste, isn’t it?)
Homesickness is normal and it’s all okay and understandable to miss home. Don’t allow a few weeks of homesickness to rip apart all the dreams you initially set for. Don’t let it bring you down! Make your study abroad filled with good memories and lots of fun. Who knows — maybe by the time you return home you’ll be homesick for your study abroad location instead!