Living Abroad: The Struggle of Living Away from Home

Being away from one’s homeland and family is a tough situation. A person is struggling to adapt to the new environment and culture, he/she currently lives in let alone the emotional distress of homesickness. A lot of people especially international students go through these difficulties and it takes a lot of courage and resilience to stay on the right track to meet one’s academic and/or professional goals without the urge to just pack up one’s luggage and fly back home where once a the person used to have all the love, care, and support of their own family.


Everyone has their own unique personal life and while some could still have access to their family support in one way or another as well as can travel back home occasionally to reconnect with their people, some other people don’t have that privilege and literally would be left out on their own to struggle with their new life in a country they barely know and often either don’t speak its language or having difficulties to communicate in the native language of the foreign country they live in.

In order to overcome such challenges, it is very important to establish a new support system in the new country. New friendships could turn into lasting genuine ones. There are many ways to get to know people but remember the best strategy is just to be yourself and don’t try to impress others. The ones who care for you will accept you the way you are and still stay around. However, you need to do some work in exploring the cultural aspects of the new community to avoid any misunderstanding and/or disrespect for someone’s culture. After all, people don’t know your intentions, but they can observe your acts and form their own comprehensive image of you based on their interaction with you. So be genuine but also remember to be respectful.

Now that you are equipped with some knowledge about the new culture and have confidence in yourself, the next step is to get out and make new connections. In order to make new friends, you need to meet people. So, classes, events, and activities are very important to attend so that you have the opportunity to meet up with people and socialize. Volunteering is another option where you can put yourself out in the new world and offer the community your services. Opportunities might present themselves along the way and you might end up with a job offer in a field you like.

For those who are able to contact their family back home, calling them from one time to another and hearing their voice will give you a motivational push to keep you going on and fulfill your goals. As for craving for cuisines food and dishes you used to enjoy at home, you could either look up restaurants that serve your homeland dishes or cook your favorite ones. If you can’t cook, look the recipe up and learn how to cook it. There are a lot of international communities that organize events and you can meet up with people who share the same background you come from. Such events can be looked up at meetup. The meetup website actually is a great platform to meet new people who share your interests through online and in-person events.

Homesickness usually emerges when it’s the holiday time and everyone is back with their beloved ones. Being alone and having nothing to do stirs up negative emotions and though it’s okay to acknowledge such emotions, it is not wise to dwell in them. Finding a hobby that you really enjoy could be the best remedy in such situations. If you don’t have one, try many things until you find the one that brings you joy. After all, life is all about experiences and learning new things.

Living abroad and being away from your own family could be very overwhelming but it is a life experience that will widen your knowledge, expose you to new things and help you learn more not only about the world but also about your own self and what you are capable of. It is an opportunityto learn and grow personally, academically, and professionally.

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