Dealing with homesickness
When you move to a new place experiencing some kind of homesickness is expected. Some people experience it much more strongly than others and some people might not experience it at all. But it’s all okay, and it’s something everyone should acknowledge and if necessary deal with.
It's a major life change to move abroad. Being an international student, not knowing the language and being surrounded by so many different cultures and backgrounds is, at the same time, amazing and kinda scary. And it all hits you at once, so it takes a bit to get used to the new situation.
When we are feeling homesick we tend to idealise our old life. We keep thinking "oh this was better back home" and "that was better" and so on. This is something you have to take notice and just change the way you think. Of course there was wonderful things back at home, but what about all the things you have here? I mean, Amsterdam is pretty amazing.
Here are a few things that I’ve found to be helpful when I’ve felt homesick.
1. Keeping up with my routines.
Even though I’m in a new country and basically everything is different. I can still keep up with most of my routines I had back home.
2. Overexposing myself to everything.
By everything I mean people, school, the city, living area in general.
3. Talking about it with someone
There are hundreds of international students in the exact same situation, so there’s people to share your experiences and feelings with.
4. Acknowledging how privileged I’m to have been able to move here
Not everyone gets the experience of moving abroad and living in Amsterdam
5. Getting friends and family to visit
6. Make your family send you packages from home
I’ve gotten (I think) six packages from my parents in the past months. They always include foods and sweets from home that I can’t get from here.
7. Not dwelling in the homesickness and enjoying what Amsterdam can offer
Like said before, Amsterdam is pretty amazing.
And let's end on a funny fact: the biggest thing right now (as tomorrow is December) that I am missing from Finland is the snow. My mind and body are in so big of a confusion over the fact that it’s almost Christmas and it's over +10c outside! Hopefully when I go back home for Christmas I can have all the snow and ice I need.