How to deal with being homesick

By Ayumi Hirata, Langara College, featured writer for the Study in BC blog. Read more from Ayumi here.

It is common to become homesick when people live in foreign countries where the culture is different from their own. When I first arrived in BC, I was excited about anything new that I encountered every day. However, as I got used to my life in Vancouver, I realized I was getting homesick. I was able to deal with my homesickness using the following solutions.

Keep busy!

First of all, arranging a tight schedule is a good way as it can prevent people from remembering their lives, families, and friends in their home countries. I filled in as much of my schedule as possible because when I went out with my friends, I could forget my homesickness. Especially when I went to a place which was surrounded by beautiful nature, I could feel refreshed and stopped feeling blue. I usually went hiking in Lynn Canyon which is easily accessible from downtown.

Find a sense of belonging

Second, it is necessary to find a place to which one belongs. In my case, feeling isolated in a foreign country was caused by the lack of the sense of belongingness. Fortunately, thanks to my friendly friends, I found my place in college and overcame my homesickness.

Eat familiar food

Next, eating the food of one’s own country helps to heal homesickness. In Vancouver, there are so many kinds of restaurants, so almost everybody can find a restaurant which serves their country’s food. I missed Japanese food and tried to find my favorite Japanese restaurant. Moreover, as people can buy products from around the world in Vancouver, it is easy to cope with homesickness in terms of food in Vancouver.

Learn English

Lastly, learning English is the best way to prevent homesickness and to deal with it. I had difficulty communicating with others in English, which resulted in feeling isolated and homesick. The better I can use English, the easier it is for me to express ideas or feelings and the more I feel like adapting myself into the community because of my improved communication with others.

These are some ways I dealt with homesickness and I hope it is useful for you! However, it is important to find the most suitable ways to heal your own homesickness.

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