Your big dream of studying abroad was fulfilled. With excellent planning and guidance from your agency, you happily landed in the destination country, looking forward to the sea of experiences to be explored and all the opportunities that lie ahead.
As everything in life has a “but”, little time has passed and something you didn’t expect to feel so much arises: nostalgia! We can miss many things: family, friends, food, our pets… and how to deal with homesickness when it squeezes our heart? Keep reading this post, we have 6 amazing tips to deal with that feeling while studying abroad and not spoil your trip. Check out!
Focus on new experiences
Is it normal to miss everything? And how it is! Living in a different country, even for a short time, is leaving your comfort zone, that is, being outside the environment you know well. This causes differences to cause feelings like “I miss what it was before”.
Open your eyes to new ways of doing things you already knew: that restaurant may not have the horse steak you love so much, but it may have the best lasagna of your life! Allow yourself to experience new experiences and get to know other cultures.
Get out of your nest
Who doesn’t miss the love of a father and mother, right? After all, even if the people who are part of your new day to day on the exchange are amazing, the affection and care of parents are irreplaceable.
Today, there are numerous ways to contact the internet: social networks, Skype, WhatsApp. It is possible to make voice and video calls to soften the distance, but set times to talk to your parents, otherwise you may lose the purpose of your trip, which is immersion and constant language training.
And remember the time zone: a call in the middle of the night can give a lot of scare to those who care about you!
Grow your network of contacts
One of the hardest but most rewarding parts of studying abroad is meeting new people during your trip. But in an outbreak of saudade, you may be comparing your friends with them, which is capable of harming the construction of your network of contacts.
Studying abroad allows you to broaden your knowledge of cultures and teaches you a lot about living diversity. Let yourself be enchanted by life stories and knowledge, you may find a friend for life there, right in front of you, trying to teach you how to pronounce a word you’ve never used. And the network you make can be used to plan future trips and visits.
Make contact with your “home” friends over the internet, but be careful not to lose focus and spend hours and hours in your room, on social networks and chat apps. They’ll want to hear all about your adventures when you get back, so don’t get ahead of yourself!
Having a lot of contact with people can help to deal with saudade, but don’t let your social circle have only people who speak your language, as this can reduce your cultural immersion.
Look for new flavors
We spend a lifetime getting used to the flavors of our country, which has an immense culinary variety, so nothing more common than missing Brazilian food.
The exchange is the time for you to discover, and that includes new spices, flavors and dishes. You know that Thai food you never risked because it was expensive? Or that typical dish you heard so much about? This is the time to kill your curiosity.
Instead of thinking about the food you don’t have, think about all the food available around you. A simple trip to the market can show you options you didn’t even know were there.
And if there’s no way around it, if the desire for beans and rice is overwhelming, look for a Brazilian restaurant or try to find products in markets that work with foreign items. Offering a dinner to your new friends and introducing them to our cuisine can help ease your taste buds and make people from other countries get to know our culture better!
Explore the study destination
One of the best ways to overcome homesickness is to discover new places. Beaches, historic sites, tourist attractions…… with each new feature, you will fall in love with the country you have chosen and, when you realize it, you will not think so much about what was left, but about everything that arrived!
If you are in a place that allows and facilitates this, travel! Discover places beyond the city you live in, the countryside or smaller cities. A weekend away from your accommodations can be a recharge for the week of studies.
Make pet friends
If you have a beloved pet, you can be sure that you will miss him too. Our pets end up being part of the family, and we can be sad when they aren’t there to wake us up in the morning or greet us after a hard day.
When that moment comes, take a walk around town. Discover places where people take their pets for a walk and interact with them if the owners allow it. In addition to being a great way to make contact with the natives, it can reduce the longing to live with a small animal from time to time.
Some exchange programs allow students to do work, such as taking dogs for a walk. Check with your agency and, if all is well, look for opportunities like this. You will make a little extra money and have that energy that only pets can give us!
In short: homesickness is inevitable, but it can be a nice thing to feel. It’s just that you don’t let yourself be dominated by it to the point of compromising everything you’ve always wanted to live in another country. Over time, you will find your way of dealing with the longing for everything and have a happy and productive exchange!