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Homesickness Abroad

Hi all! 

I am an Aussie and I’m currently studying abroad in Canada, my first week was really rough- lots of homesickness and anxiety about whether I had made a really bad decision to study abroad. I’ve been here about 5 weeks now and other than the first week I’ve been having a blast- made lots of friends, enjoying my studies and exploring my new home. But every now and then I get really sad- missing my parents, my friends and all the other relative comforts of home. I was wondering if anyone else had experience with this and how they overcame it or if there are any tips and tricks to get over this?

Re: Homesickness Abroad

Hi there @TB_99 and welcome to ReachOut!


Studying abroad is such a fantastic opportunity, I've never been to Canada myself but I've heard it is a wonderful country! It can certainly be a difficult decision to make, whether it's a good idea or not, but I'm glad that you've been enjoying yourself. 


Homesickness is a difficult feeling, especially when you're all the way in another country. I also went overseas for a year to do study, and there were absolutely times where I missed home though I am still very glad I went. Some of the things that helped me were that I could easily contact and talk to my parents, though it's not the same as being with them, it still helped ease the homesickness. 

Missing the comforts of home too is common with travelling or moving out, are there any activities or objects that you liked from home? Sometimes, doing an activity you did at home, or finding something from your home can bring some of the home comfort to you, what do you think?


I am finishing with ReachOut this week, say good-bye here. I'll miss you all!

Re: Homesickness Abroad

Thanks for your response!


Talking with friends and family absolutely make me feel better but sometimes due to work and the time difference I can’t talk which is usually when I start feeling blue.


Doing activities that I like doing at home is a good idea and something I will try and practice, so thank you for that suggestion.


I feel fine like 90% of the time but sometimes it just feels very crushing being so far away from my home. I wish I didn’t feel this way and just enjoyed my time here but I’ll try to practice your suggestions and focus on the positives of this experience.

Re: Homesickness Abroad

Hey @TB_99,


Felling homesick is completely normal when you are away. I remember when I went on a school trip in year 10 and I felt homesick even though it was only a week!


For me, it mainly happened when I wasn't busy and it went away when I was out doing stuff. So maybe you could try being busy whenever you start to feel homesick?


Are you on exchange with anyone else from Australia? Maybe talking to them about how you are feeling could help, as I'm sure they are feeling the same way.


Hope this helps! Smiley Happy

Re: Homesickness Abroad

I have studied abroad only a short intensive course, for 3 weeks but spent 5 weeks away from home.

Remember that your friends and parents especially will be missing you as much as you are missing them. Facetime home if you can, so you can chat and keep up with what is going on back in Aus. A lot of my homesickness was from me missing out on family events. If not keep in contact via facebook or text message and share what you are up to with them.

Also, I found really emerging yourself into the culture around you can help and make the place you are staying in feel like home. I found exploring the city I was in and knowing where things were in relation to my accommodation made me feel a little safer and comfortable.

Make sure you unpack your things and give everything a place too, this makes your accommodation feel like your own room too.
Also, have a google and see if there is an Australian restaurant, I found one in Austria and it had a classic Aussie Pie and a game of footy on the tv, if that is your type of thing. Haha

I came home with memories I will have for a lifetime and some great friends from all around the world too. Make the most of every day and fill it with something you enjoy. Hope this helps.

Re: Homesickness Abroad

@TB_99  Welcome to Reachout Smiley Happy I am International student too and I can totally relate with this feeling because when I came to Australia, I was going through all sorts of emotions from being excited to go to a new study environment to making new friends and also feeling anxious and missing my parents at the same time. It is very normal to feel that way and I am really proud of you for sharing this and taking such a big step about going abroad and studying.Heart  


For me I think keeping myself busy and involved in things has always been helpful like joining clubs or volunteering, hanging out with friends even if it is just going out for a coffee and most importantly studying because university assignments surely are very time consuming, which keeps me occupied most of the time xx I also FaceTime my parents 2-3 times especially when I miss them because I don't think there can be a time when I can totally stop thinking about them because I love them dearlyHeart I also tend to remind myself about the exposure that I am getting in this dynamic environment  and also the good experiences I have had so far Smiley Happy This is something that keeps me going Smiley Happy


I hope you have an amazing experience in Canada, it is a very lovely place Smiley Very Happy

Re: Homesickness Abroad

Hey @TB_99 just checking in to see how you are going Smiley Happy. Hoping that you have been well and looking forward to hearing from you! 


Re: Homesickness Abroad

Hi @lennycat2017!


Thanks for checking up on me. Yeah things have been a bit up and down (but mostly up tho 😊).


A friend and I decided to go to Montreal for our mid-sem break which made me have a massive homesickness/anxiety attack shortly before leaving- I ended up video chatting my parents in tears. But now I’m that I’m here (in Montreal) I’m having an amazing time and appreciate what I have back in Calgary at my exchange university, so I think it’s been a good experience so far.


Other than that, it’s mostly been up. I’ve been trying to make sure I do something everyday- whether thats going to the gym, going to class, hanging out with new friends outside of my residence- and that’s been really helping. 


I‘m at nearly halfway of my exchange and I’m finding it hard to not be too excited to go home and forgetting about the other two months I have in Canada but I think there’s still a lot more I have to experience and if I keep a positive outlook, I should continue having an amazing time.


Also thanks for the responses every one x.

Re: Homesickness Abroad

That's fantastic to hear @TB_99! I'm glad that things have been mostly up Smiley Happy It's great that you were able to call your parents and talk to them. 


It can definitely be exciting being so close to coming home! I hope you enjoy the rest of your time in Canada, it sounds like you are having some amazing experiences. Smiley Happy


I am finishing with ReachOut this week, say good-bye here. I'll miss you all!

Re: Homesickness Abroad

hey @TB_99,


another international student checking in! i'm glad to hear that you've mostly been up and that you were able to enjoy yourself despite your homesickness attack. it seems like you're keeping yourself busy with a lot of great, constructive activities and making tons of memories to take home with you! i hope you're well and that when you are feeling down, you're able to find some support with your family, your new friends, and with us as well Smiley Happy