Lots of people suffer with homesickness when they first start Uni8100%versity, even the ones who seem as if they are having an awesome time. It’s not sad or weird, it’s normal.
Quite often these feelings fade after the first few weeks, but here are a few ‘settling in’ tips.
1. Join a club or society. This is one of the best ways to meet new friends and will keep your mind off feeling homesick.
2. Be realistic and don't expect too much from university life. Not everything falls into place at first, so give it a bit of time.
3. Stay in touch with your friends and family. Skype’s a great, free way to keep in touch with your family, but a quick text message works just as well.
4. Equally, don’t spend all your time trawling social media for news from home. Your time at uni is fairly short in the grand scheme of things, so try to live in the here and now.
5. Look after yourself by sleeping and eating well. Try not to drink too much, as this can have a negative impact on your mood.
6. If you’re going home during the Christmas break – it is only a matter of weeks before you’ll be back with your family and friends. It is probably then that you’ll truly appreciate the freedom of being at University and the homesickness will fade!
7. If you really can't shake the feeling and want to chat more come and see one of our Advisors or theUniversity's Counselling Service, who offer one to one support, courses and workshops that you may find helpful here.
Here are a few tips from Ross, a former student who studied in Japan:
1. Food. A few home comforts like your favourite snacks and treats are just what you need when you’re missing home. Stock up at one of Manchester’s many international supermarkets, or get your family to send you a care package or two.
2. Studying abroad is all about experiencing a different culture and living in a different environment, but this can sometimes make you feel a bit isolated. Join one of Manchester’s many international societies and make friends from all over the world. You are all experiencing the same thing.
3. See new places. You’re not just in Manchester, you’re in the UK. So do some exploring and try to visit as many places as you can. A change of scene will take your mind off missing home and you’ll have lots to talk about and show your family back home.
4. It’s obvious that you will stay in touch with your family, but don’t forget about your friends. Sometimes you’re too busy meeting new people or making new friends that you can forget about your friends back home. A phone call or email for a quick catch up once in a while is great for homesickness, especially if you have friends that are also studying away from home.
5. Stay in the loop. Catching up on news in your home country, listening to local music and watching new TV shows are great ways of feeling connected to home, all of which you can do online.