Navigating the Waves of Homesickness: A Guide to Coping and Thriving

By Anthony Kleine
Aug 29, 2023
Homesickness is a common emotional challenge, but it's important to remember that it's not a permanent state. Embrace this chapter of your life with an open heart, and you'll discover the resilience within you that can turn any new environment into a place of belonging and fulfilment.

Homesickness – that pang of longing for the familiar sights, sounds, and comforts of home, is an emotion that many international students will experience. It’s important to remember that homesickness is a natural and temporary feeling that can be managed with the right strategies.

In this blog, we’ll explore practical tips to help you cope with homesickness and turn your focus towards making the most of your current situation.


1. Embrace Your Emotions

First and foremost, it’s crucial to acknowledge and accept your feelings of homesickness. Understand that it’s completely normal to miss the people, places, and routines you’ve grown accustomed to. Instead of bottling up your emotions, give yourself permission to feel homesick. This step is essential for moving forward and finding effective ways to cope.


2. Create a Comforting Environment

While you may not be able to recreate your exact home environment, you can infuse your current space with elements that bring you comfort. Personalise your living area with familiar items such as photographs, a favourite blanket, or decorative pieces that remind you of home. This will help create a sense of familiarity and warmth.


3. Establish New Routines

Creating a routine in your new environment can give you a sense of structure and purpose. This might involve setting a regular sleep schedule, designating specific times for meals, exercise, and leisure activities, and even exploring local attractions. These routines can help take your mind off homesickness by keeping you engaged in the present moment.


4. Stay Connected

In today’s digital age, staying connected with loved ones is easier than ever. Regularly reach out to friends and family through video calls, voice messages, or even old-fashioned letters. Sharing your experiences and hearing about theirs can help bridge the gap between your two worlds and alleviate feelings of isolation.


5. Explore Your Surroundings

One of the best ways to combat homesickness is to immerse yourself in your new surroundings. Treat your current location as an opportunity for adventure and growth. Take walks around your neighbourhood, explore local shops, dine at new restaurants, and engage with the community. The more you connect with your new environment, the more it will feel like a second home.


6. Cultivate New Relationships

Building connections with new people can be immensely rewarding. Seek out like-minded individuals through social events (Scape offers events throughout the month), clubs, or communities related to your interests. Forming new friendships can provide you with a support system and help you create cherished memories in your new environment.


7. Practice Self-Care

Taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being is paramount. Engage in activities that relax and rejuvenate you, such as yoga, meditation, reading, or even taking a long bath. Prioritise your health by eating nutritious foods, getting regular exercise, and ensuring you’re getting enough sleep. Scape residents are more likely to sleep better and feel more energised when waking up, compared to the national average.


8. Set Goals and Focus on Growth

Redirect your energy towards personal growth by setting achievable goals for yourself. These goals could be related to your work, hobbies, or personal development. Working towards something meaningful can give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment, helping to alleviate feelings of homesickness.


Anshul asks Kelly how she copes with homesickness as an international student:



Homesickness is a common emotional challenge, but it’s important to remember that it’s not a permanent state. By acknowledging your feelings, creating a comfortable space, establishing routines, staying connected, exploring your new surroundings, fostering relationships, practicing self-care, and focusing on personal growth, you can successfully navigate the waves of homesickness. Embrace this chapter of your life with an open heart, and you’ll discover the resilience within you that can turn any new environment into a place of belonging and fulfilment.