Homesickness is a common issue among international students and a fear for those who are anticipating studying abroad. Clement Shi Jie Sim, our Malaysian and CIT International Ambassador, shares some tips on overcoming the tough times…

It’s never an easy task to step outside your comfort zone by leaving your family, friends and home and travel to a foreign country to pursue your third level education. When homesickness isn’t addressed properly, it can make a person depressed, anxious and it can affect concentration levels when it comes to studying.

Cobh, Cork

Making friends

One of the best ways to address homesickness is to make friends and luckily, the Irish are known to be some of the friendliest people on Earth.

When I first started my studies here, I was shy and nervous. I felt out of place, being the only Asian and international boy on my course. However, my classmates and lecturers have been really welcoming since day one.

Once I got to know the lads, we would regularly go out for movies, bowling nights and regular soccer sessions. They made me feel at home and I am very grateful to call them my second family.

Explore Ireland

Another way to get past homesickness is to explore Ireland. This is a great way to occupy your free time while also decorating your Instagram feed. Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle and it’s easy to see why — the country’s lush scenery and breath-taking views are out of this world. Places like the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, the Aran Islands and the Ring of Kerry are just some of the destinations that are worth exploring and are guaranteed to leave you in awe.

The Cliffs of Moher under a cloudy sky at sunset

Cliffs of Moher

The CIT International Student Society would always arrange weekend trips in and outside Cork. As a committee member, I was tasked with leading international students on these trips. I really enjoyed exploring new places around Ireland as well as taking photographs so I would always have the memories.

Embrace change

Studying in Ireland is a privilege and it’s a decision you will never regret. Embrace the change and take my advice with an open mind. Make the most out of your time at Ireland and create memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life.