Feeling homesick in a new country

​I didn’t expect to miss home, but I did. A lot. This is how I coped with it. 

A spontaneous trip to Prague with my friends was a success!
Gothenburg is amazing. Chalmers is amazing. But in all the amazingness, I have to be honest and say I did miss home. 

I was genuinely surprised when I got homesick. Amongst the excitement of a new country, constantly meeting people, and the flow of social activities that Chalmers offers, it snuck up on me. But eventually those things fade to the background and you realize what is missing.

For me, it happened around the holidays. Almost all of my friends were flying to their home country to spend Christmas and New Year’s with their family. A couple of them invited me to join them over the winter break in Poland and Germany. Of course, I said yes, and I had a wonderful time! But after a month of being back in Gothenburg, I got homesick again. There were other things going on in my life and I missed being surrounded by all that was familiar to me. I’m not trying to scare you. Everyone is different. You may not get homesick. But when you study for two years and your home isn’t as easy or affordable to visit, it might happen. This is normal. And it is okay. Life has its ups and downs and that doesn’t stop just because you’re living in a new country. 

How did I get through it? I took the opportunities I had to enjoy what I came to Sweden to enjoy. I continued to socialize. Sometimes it was difficult; sometimes my friends had to encourage me. We’d only known each other a few months, but they were a great support system. I video called my parents often who were also great. I went on a tour to Northern Sweden where I saw the Aurora Borealis and met some wonderful people. 

I took a spontaneous trip to Prague with a group of friends during spring break. I put my energy into school and yes, I partied less. Distractions are good but I also realized it was important to allow myself to feel homesick. In time, my sadness dissipated. It helped that my parents were planning to visit me in the summer. It gave me something to look forward to.

Overall though, there is no trick to getting over being homesick. It’s just one of those things that comes and then passes. But try not to let it keep you from going on adventures. I am so glad I took those trips. They were some of the most incredible experiences. And, looking back, what I remember isn’t being sad. I remember the amazing time I had.

Author: Emma Norden

Page manager Published: Mon 21 Oct 2019.