University offers some of the best years of your life, but parts can also feel incredibly lonely and the realisation that you are far from home can hit hard and fast. But homesickness doesn’t have to be as crippling as you may fear; whether you have moved five or 500 miles to study for your degree, this guide looks to take you through the realistic steps to beating homesickness for good.
Stay in touch
Just because you are away from home doesn’t mean that you can’t feel at home. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, speaking to friends and family at home while completing your events management course in London has never been easier, or cheaper! Skype is a God send for students; this fast, free and useful service keeps relationships strong all over the world and while it is counterproductive to call home every day, the weekly Skype chat can work wonders for homesickness.
As Skype offers video chat it goes that step beyond the traditional phone call and can make you feel as though you are right there. Skype means you never have to miss a birthday or feel far from home ever again, so long as
both you and home have access to the internet and are able to set up a Skype account. With these things in place you can use Skype’s text, voice and video services to your heart’s content.
If you don’t have access to the internet, or don’t wish to use Skype, mobile phones can be just as good. The key is to stay in regular contact; just hearing someone’s voice can rid homesickness in a flash, no matter how far away they are. Even international students studying in London don’t have to feel isolated as MoneySavingExpert.com has a great call checker that finds the cheapest way to call any country in the world.
One of the keys things to keep in mind when it comes to beating homesickness is to keep busy. Making plans with housemates and people on your course, getting involved with a student society or even staying on top of your coursework can keep you distracted, happy and the homesickness at bay.
Stay on the move
If you are lucky enough to be able to travel home via public transport then make sure you take advantage of this benefit as many students who are studying abroad do not have this luxury. A 16- 25 rail card means that travelling home for the holidays, or even for a spare weekend, is actually affordable, offering a third off rail fares.
Alternatively, if you are studying in London from abroad it may be slightly trickier to get home for the odd weekend when you are feeling the first pangs of homesickness. However, there are some great offers on flights for students that can help. Sites such as Student Universe and Flight Centre can make flying cheaper and easier, offering great deals and the cheapest flights specifically for students all in one place.
Thanks to Skype, you can even keep in contact with people cheaply on the move with the mobile Skype app. Just download to your smart phone and you can see and speak to relatives on the commute into lectures or wherever you happen to be going.
Finally, it is important to stay positive and remember why you moved away from home in the first place. While it may be hard to be away from loved ones, you are studying for a qualification that will make a real difference to your life and help you gain the career and future you really want. Universities in London and the UK have some great student services and support systems for moments when you get really low or need someone to talk to, so don’t suffer in silence; always talk to someone if homesickness begins to impact on your wellbeing and study.
Got any tips for coping with homesickness besides Skype and keeping busy? Share them on the GSM London Facebook page.
Image Credit: Achi Raz (flickr.com), Mike Licht (flickr.com)
This content was written by Rachel Smith. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.