One of the scariest parts about studying abroad for many people is being away from family and friends for an extended period of time. I think that people are afraid of FOMO (fear of missing out), and miss their normal routine. Being abroad before I’ve learned what to do when I am especially missing home on a certain day.
First thing that I believe is really helpful is to journal. Being in a new place and a new environment can be really overwhelming at first, and writing about how I felt helped me reflect. It also is a good way to record memories of your study abroad experience and to see how you’ve developed as a person.
Family and friends are often what we miss the most. Luckily, we live in a time with so much technology so it is easier to keep in touch with the people we love. I try to Facetime my sister, my mom, and my friends. I try to send updates to my family members and friends once in a while with pictures, and ask them how they are doing.
Something that I think helps me feel more at home is staying busy. After the first couple of weeks you will start to have a new routine, and it is going to feel more like home. I now feel so comfortable with my host family. I’ve also created a routine with exercising which has helped me because I am doing something that I would be doing at home. I like to go for long runs and twice a week I go to Zumba with my friend and her host family, so I am trying something new too!! I think it is important to still doing things that you enjoy. If you like to do yoga, do yoga. If you like to read, read. You can do your hobbies while you are abroad that make you feel happy.
Even if at first the time that you are abroad seems like it is going by slowly, by the end of your time abroad you are going to think that the time flew by. You don’t want to be too focused on what is going on at home when you have so many new opportunities to learn and grow as a person! Another method that I think is so helpful is to remind yourself that this is an amazing opportunity and try to take everything in. Try new foods, ask people about their culture, take public transport, learn how to walk home in different ways, and ask questions about the country you are in. We are so fortunate to be able to be immersed into a culture, so really appreciate the time you have abroad.