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White, buildings with elaborate architecture flanking a street with traffic, image used for Manisha Dorawala blog on fighting homesickness while abroad

Whether you’re moving to another country for your job, for a semester abroad, or if you’re going because you think it would be exciting, it can be difficult to adjust to living in a completely new place. Being alone or with a few family members makes for a huge change and adjustment to living in a new country where you’re unfamiliar with many of the customs and possibly even the language. While moving abroad can be a difficult transition, it’s certainly worth it and it’ll be an experience you’ll never forget. If you’re set on moving to another country, here are some tips on how to combat any homesickness you might experience.

Stay in contact

The single most important thing you can do to combat homesickness when you’re living in another country is to keep in regular contact with the people you’re close to back home. Schedule regular calls with your family and close friends; you’ll all have different schedules, but getting on the phone once a week or a few times a month can be managed. Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever to communicate. Send texts, emails, photos, or even letters regularly.

Plan visits

While this isn’t something you can do every week or month, planning occasional visits to each other is a great idea. Invite friends and family from home to come visit sometime throughout your time abroad. If you’re living in another country for a significant length of time, make plans for when you’ll be able to visit home. Even once a year can be refreshing for you and help with homesickness.

Keep it familiar

A simple step you can take to lessen your homesickness is to create some familiarity in your new home. Hang up pictures that remind you of home or keep some of your same routines. Avoid trying to completely recreate your home in a new country because you’ll realize it’s impossible, but having some familiar items can make you feel better.

Make new connections

In order to help get rid of homesickness, begin creating connections in your new home. Get out to events and meet new people. It might be daunting at first, but once you have friends in your new country, you’ll have a busy social life and miss home a little less. It’ll also help you assimilate into your new culture and really experience what it’s like living in this country.

Create a home for yourself

It can be tempting to hold onto your former home and reminisce about it. Instead of living in the past, begin making a home for yourself in your new country. Like I mentioned above, make new friends. Get involved in the local community and throw yourself into work or a hobby. The more comfortable you feel abroad, the less you’ll experience homesickness.

Go on adventures

A great way to avoid homesickness is by keeping yourself busy; go on some adventures. Explore and get to know your new home. Learn where the locals like to go and gain new experiences. Then, when you feel comfortable, begin traveling around your new country. Plan trips to other nearby places. No matter where you are, there’s always more to see and do.