“We need to live alone and deal with a completely new environment”

Student Ambassador Ankit Chatterjee has some really positive advice on how to beat those homesick blues.

As an international student, sometimes it becomes very stressful to manage everything on our own.  On one hand, there’s a need to perform well in academics and on the other hand, we need to live alone and deal with a completely new environment.  

Many of us take up part time jobs in order to support their stay in Ireland while studying which sometimes becomes a bit hectic as well. Managing all these alone in a different country is not at all easy. Often students tend to feel homesick amongst all these things. 

To be honest, it is completely normal and justified. Living thousands of miles away from your family and friends isn’t easy. Although, the boon in technology has made it possible to connect with our loved ones whenever we want to but it can never fulfil the love and warmth that we can experience when we meet our family in person. The difference in the time zones also makes it difficult to speak with our family and friends back home.  

As an international student, it is very important to maintain our focus and at the same time embrace all the new challenges that life has to offer. The following are few of the ways which according to me have proved effective while dealing with homesickness: 

  1. Try to go for a walk or run whenever we feel anxious. 
  2. Try to take a few deep breaths and try calming ourselves down – it really helps! 
  3. Talk it out with friends around us. They may also be feeling the same as you. 
  4. Making new friends is very important in a new country. It’s really helpful in learning about different people and their cultures.  
  5. Call your family and tell them you love them and are missing them – There’s no harm in accepting how you feel. This does not make you mentally week but on the contrary, it makes you strong by accepting your emotions. 
  6. Try to divert your attention towards something that can make you happy-this could be new hobby, joining a new club or society in college or even learning a new technology skill. 

It’s even better to journal our thoughts whenever we feel low. Writing our thoughts down can be really therapeutic. The whole idea is to face everything with strong mind as time passes you will be proud of a new stronger version of yourself.  


Ankit Chatterjee is doing a MSc in Data Analytics at National College of Ireland