It’s something we’ve all gone through! But Malaysian Student Ambassador Zi Yi Ho has some really good advice on how to beat the homesick blues

It is natural to feel a bit homesick sometimes – and I have felt it too. So here are my top tips for dealing with homesickness from my own experiences.

Tip 1: You can feel homesick, but don’t let it take over
Feeling homesick is not a weakness; in fact, it will probably make you stronger. Make sure to relax in the way that suits you: a good cry, good food, exercise, travel. But also try to put a time limit on being in this mood.

Tip 2: Get in touch with other people
You might feel safe when staying in your room but spending lots of time inside will only make you more homesick. Do not isolate yourself! Try to chat with people around you.
Organising a day trip or getting a part-time job will help you feel better and help you to make new friends. That might help to keep homesickness away too.

Tip 3: Explore your area
Step out from your room and explore your town or city! When you get familiar with the place, you will feel more at home.
You may only have a short time in this place, so go for a walk and explore the beauty of the Irish landscape – within your 5km radius. Soak up the rich culture, heritage and local history that Ireland has to offer! Then, later, when we can, go further afield and explore places such as the Wild Atlantic Way and beyond.

Tip 4: Have a plan
We get homesick when we do not know what to do with ourselves. You will then feel guilty and bad feelings will arrive. Have a plan for yourself and set some goals! What do you want to do each day, week or month? List these out and you will have a better chance of achieving your plan. Remember the plan must be positive and remind yourself that you can do it.

Tip 5: Cook some home food
We all miss the food from our home country. Learn to cook some of your country’s food! This will make you happy and you will feel satisfied.

Keep fighting
Homesickness can be tough but we all have to keep fighting. If you do, you will know yourself better and learn more about why you came to Ireland to study in the first place.
Step out of your comfort zone, explore where you live, make new friends and take a deep breath. This is the new part of your journey. And we are all in it together.
And always remember why you chose to study abroad. You will have great experiences to share with your family and friends. I say: choose to be positive and grow on this wonderful journey we are all on!

Zi Yi Ho is studying Tourism with Event Management at the Institute of Technology Sligo