4 Tips for Coping with Homesickness and Culture Shock During Your Study Abroad
Adjusting to a different culture can be difficult for international students
Studying abroad can be a great adventure. You get to explore new places, meet new people, and experience what it’s like to live in a completely different culture, all while gaining a valuable qualification to help your career.
However, it is not always easy, and it is quite common for international students to experience ‘culture shock’ and ‘homesickness’ during the first few months of their studies, as they struggle to adjust to being surrounded by unfamiliar languages, food, and social norms.
Read on to find out some of the best ways to prevent homesickness and culture shock from spoiling your study abroad experience.
1. Get Support From The International Student Community
One of the best ways to deal with culture shock is to make friends with other international students. Being around other people who are also new to the country can be a great source of support as you adapt to your new surroundings. You can help each other explore your new country, learn about the local language and customs, and deal with any unexpected challenges.
Your MBA master’s program can be a great place to meet like-minded individuals with similar backgrounds and interests. Cities like Moscow, Bremen, and London, for example, have large, thriving international student communities, and you will find plenty of student societies, groups, and events where you can make new connections.
2. Local People Are Always Eager to Welcome International Students
While your fellow international students can be a great source of support, you should also make an effort to make friends with local people. Many universities actively encourage international students to get involved in the local community in order to help them feel more at home.
Some universities offer student mentors, community host programs, and even fun, intercultural festivals and activities. Services like this will give you the opportunity to meet friendly and welcoming locals who are eager to introduce you to their country and culture, and offer advice and guidance to help you settle in.
3. Enjoy Some Home Comforts During Your MBA Master’s Program
When you are feeling homesick, little things can sometimes make all the difference. Making your favourite meal, watching your favourite movie or TV show or listening to some music from your home country can often be all you need to lift you spirits and make you feel more positive about your situation.
Try to find some good websites where you can access movies or stream local TV from your country before you leave, and research specialty grocery stores in your new city where you can get the ingredients for your favorite dishes. That way, you can take some time to enjoy the things you miss whenever you need to.
4. The Best Cure for Culture Shock is Time
Although a different culture might seem strange and intimidating at first, it is important not to give up. Normally, the first two month could be difficult. But, once you start going out, getting involved in new activities, and learning more about the culture and city, you will soon realise that it is nothing to be afraid of.
While you might still miss people and things back home, the experiences you have and new friends you are meeting will makes things a lot easier, as you embrace all the exciting possibilities of life in your new city.
And once you complete your Master’s program, you can choose to remain in your new country, return home, or even look for opportunities in other new and exciting places, with the confidence of knowing that you can adjust to any new situation.