Student Ambassador Seamus Clerkin offers wise advice for beating homesickness while studying in Ireland. If you’re far from home, these tips might just be your lifeline!

When traveling to new places, especially a whole new country, feeling homesick is a common challenge. However, you don’t have to let it get the best of you! Drawing from personal experience, I can assure you that homesickness is a natural emotion, and it’s a hurdle everyone faces when embarking on a study adventure abroad. In Ireland, there are numerous ways to combat homesickness.

You might find yourself grappling with homesickness when adjusting to a new environment, feeling lonely, or struggling to grasp a new culture. Homesickness can manifest in wanting to call your friends and family frequently (which is perfectly fine, by the way), constantly comparing everything to what you consider “normal,” or isolating yourself in your dorm or apartment.

Overcoming homesickness is a personal journey. Here are some strategies that helped me during my time in Ireland. If you prefer, you can simply scroll through the pictures in this blog and jump to the summary at the very end – that’s perfectly fine too!

Bring sentimental items and memorabilia from home: Don’t forget to pack your beloved childhood stuffed animal, a cherished book series, your favorite dolls or action figures, pictures of you with family and friends, or even your country’s national flag, along with any other personal items. Decorating your room and making it your own will instantly make it feel more like home.

Maintain your routines: Sticking to your favorite activities and hobbies will help you adapt to your daily life and make new spaces feel a bit more familiar and welcoming. Whether it’s reading with a book club, performing with a theatre troupe, playing on a sports team, attending yoga classes, or singing in a choir, if these activities are essential to you, don’t feel compelled to abandon them when studying abroad. Chances are, you’ll find like-minded individuals engaged in similar activities at your chosen college in Ireland. Explore and forge new friendships along the way!

Create a bucket list: To truly experience Ireland’s beauty, in addition to your academic pursuits, create a bucket list of places you’d like to explore both within and around Ireland. You can even invite newfound friends to share these experiences with you!

Be authentic, know your boundaries, and accept homesickness: Nobody understands you better than yourself. Pay attention to what brings you comfort, and remember that your mental well-being is of utmost importance.

Everyone navigates homesickness at their own pace, whether it lasts for 30 minutes or 30 days. Each person’s experience is unique and valid. It’s important to recognize that homesickness is a common and understandable response to moving abroad, and it’s perfectly fine to miss home from time to time. Who knows, when you eventually return home, you might find yourself missing Ireland instead!


Seamus is doing a Master by Research in Drama & Theatre Studies at MIC