International Exchange Student: Homesick Defined
Do you remember the first time you spent the night away from your parents’ house? If you’re like most children, you likely felt uneasy and had a ball of nausea in your stomach that wouldn’t go away. It’s natural to feel homesick when you’re not at home, as the majority of us are people who like our homes and enjoy spending time there. Home is where our comfort zone is, and when we step out of that comfort zone, we get uncomfortable.
Becoming homesick is one of the biggest problems that an international exchange student faces. Often when a student signs up for foreign exchange student programs, they’re thinking about the fun they’ll have being away from their parents and being in a new country. They don’t stop to think about how they will come to miss their homes and families when they’re far apart from them, and many students drop out of the program before it’s finished because they miss their home so much. Dealing with the Problem
If you’re contemplating being an international exchange student, there are a few ways that you can deal with this issue so that you can enjoy your stay in a new country. First of all, acknowledge that you do miss your home. Many people who are homesick make the situation worse by trying to deny what they’re feeling. Acknowledge that you miss your home and your family so that you can then process the feelings that you’re having.
Try to have a schedule to keep in touch with your loved ones. Whether it’s by email, or by phone, try to have a specific schedule in your mind so that you can have fairly frequent contact with your friends and family while you’re away. While you’re corresponding with them, you can help them to understand what it’s like to be an international exchange student.
Remember that your visit will only be for a certain time. After the set period, you will be back on a plane headed home. If you were to leave early, you’d never experience the majority of things that you’ll be able to experience if you are to stay.
The thing to remember about this problem is that it passes. As long as you acknowledge your feelings and set up contact with home, you’ll be able to thoroughly enjoy your stay in a foreign country.