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How to Deal with Homesickness

Students share their top tips on dealing with homesickness from first experiences while studying in New Zealand.

Don’t isolate yourself

I would say the number one tip when dealing with homesickness is to not isolate yourself. When you are homesick, you often start to feel lonely as well. Isolating yourself will only worsen the loneliness you are experiencing.

I would recommend going out and surrounding yourself with people. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hang out with people but going to a public park or coffee shop surrounded by other people will help ease feelings of loneliness.

I also FaceTimed my parents once a week and that really helped me feel less homesick and gave me something to look forward to.

Liz Stein is a US study abroad student studying speech therapy at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch

Immerse yourself in your community

If you experience a bit of homesickness while traveling abroad, don’t fret. In fact, I found that one of the most valuable takeaways from my time abroad was gaining a newfound appreciation for my home.

Simultaneously, I had a phenomenal semester. In order to have a phenomenal semester, and to help with homesickness, I suggest you completely immerse yourself in your new community. 

Whatever your passions may be, join organisations, student groups, and clubs that speak to you.

Whatever your passions may be, join organisations, student groups, and clubs that speak to you. Don’t be afraid to venture outside of the student bubble and experience the full community.

For me, that meant rock climbing with the New Zealand alpine club, joining the university tramping club, signing up for a half marathon in Christchurch, practicing yoga at a studio in Dunedin’s city centre, and volunteering at meaningful non-profits.

Taylor Weckstein is a US study abroad student studying psychology and neuroscience at the University of Otago in Dunedin

Share your experiences with friends and family

To help with homesickness you can use the internet to keep in touch with friends and family in your own country.

I recommend making friends as quickly as possible so you can hang out with them and not be too lonely.  If you have too much free time you will think of home more.

You can also spend time talking to and getting to know your homestay family so you feel more at home.

Plus you can join extra-curricular activities. Like me, you might like to make a YouTube video about New Zealand and share it with friends and family back home.

Bai Yok is a Thai high school student in Dunedin 

Liz Stein

By ENZ Kiwi Ambassadors

Updated 2 years ago

Liz Stein (pictured) and Taylor Weckstein are both study abroad students from the United States. Bai Yok is a high school student from Thailand.

Follow our Kiwi Ambassadors on Instagram: @studyinnewzealand

*Views expressed are the blogger's own
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