I’m from China, and I’ve studied in Leeds since 2017. Being 4,830 miles from home, I know firsthand how hard the move away from familiarity is. I nearly gave-up over feelings of homesickness. But my tips as an international student and some tips from my friends will help you push past those feelings so you can fully immerse yourself at uni.
Keep in touch with your friends and family back home
Everyone has felt homesick at some point in their uni experience, no matter how far away from home they are. One way to combat these feelings is to stay in contact with your family and friends from home. But don’t seclude yourself in your room to spend hours everyday FaceTiming them. And try not to go back home too frequently, or you could risk missing out on vital time to solidify your new friendships. To help you adapt to your new life as a uni student, you could decorate your room similar to your bedroom at home. Hopefully this will help you resist the want to go home to often.
Join your new community
Don’t stay in your uni accommodation all day in freshers! I know it can be tempting to stay in bed and watch Netflix, but you’ll have far more fun getting to know your new flatmates and the other people in your block. Making good connections with your neighbours could result in lasting friendships, especially if you can reminisce over the stolen road signs and questionable choices made in freshers. Being busy with your new friends at these fun fresher’s events will distract you from feeling homesick. But if you do struggle to make friends in your uni accommodation, it’s not the end of the world. There are plenty of opportunities to make friends, on your course and at clubs and societies.
Clubs and Societies
Write down your interests and what you want to gain from your university experience. Obviously, you want to do well in your degree; but university isn’t just about conventional education. There are societies where you can learn about different religions, media, music, politics and social issues. With more than 300 clubs and societies to choose from, it may seem like a daunting task to decide which ones to join, but the LUU website has a helpful quiz to guide you through.
Enjoy the best time of your Life!
It’s often said that university is the best time of your life, so enjoy your three or more years of studying and partying while you can! But not every moment of university is fun for everyone. If you are ever feeling low and you don’t feel like talking to your friends or family about it, then you can always speak to a university counsellor or your personal tutor.