9 Ways to Combat Homesickness While You’re Abroad

By Meghan Stark

1) Facetime is your best friend

None of the data usage, all of the sentimentality. Facetiming or Skyping your family and friends can relieve some of the homesickness you’ve been feeling, as seeing their faces can make you feel more connected than just hearing their voices.

2) Eat something that reminds you of home

Make something that warms your belly and your heart; eating food you usually eat at home can help connect you to home and the kitchens you love.

3) Keep familiar things around

Maybe it’s a stuffed animal or a sweatshirt from your favorite vacation spot, but keep important things close to you to foster a sense of home in your new location.

4) Pictures

Pictures of EVERYONE! Your parents, dogs, siblings, friends, anything that reminds you of happy times in a happy place, print it out and hang it up! You’ll be surprised how much visual suggestion can make you feel at home.

5) Movies/Music

While it’s awesome to get into the cultural scene of your new home, music and movies from home are a big comfort and reminder that you’ll always appreciate the music and movies you grew up with. Stream your favorite local radio station, see what movies they have on their respective Netflix (Yes, other countries have Netflix – it’s pretty wild!). Remind yourself of what made you dance or laugh when you were home, and chances are it will still make you laugh while abroad.

6) Visit friends

Chances are, you know other people studying abroad right now. Plan a weekend trip to go see them! A familiar face can do wonders.

7) Avoid obsession or romanticizing

While home is GREAT, there are hardships there as well.  It’s possible your longing for something familiar is stopping you from remembering that if you were home right now you’d still have to do homework, go to work, and do other things you’re probably not crazy about. But you don’t get the added bonus of getting to travel to other countries on the weekend.

8) Learn the language

Maybe one of the reasons you’re feeling out of place is because there’s a barrier between you and your new neighbors. Learning some basics of your new home can help connect you to the people and culture of the city you’re studying in.

9) Explore your new home

The best way to combat homesickness? Make a home where you are now. Explore your city, eat the local food, get to know the streets and people. Make new happy memories in this new place. By the time you leave, you’ll be homesick for where you went abroad.