Deal with Being Away From Home with a Smile

What is to be said about international student homesickness? Well a lot can be said about it in the end. In fact the whole idea of homesickness is still in the process of being defined. With being an international student there will definitely be a case of homesickness. Think about it. You are away from your homeland, family, friends, and a part of you behind in order to take on the opportunity of a college education. As a result of course you are going to find yourself missing your loved ones and that place you call home. Well as a result you can help yourself deal with that feeling be building up new friendships and exploring a whole new world.

Remember how it was said above the true reason are meaning behind international student home sickness is still a mystery. Well one possible reason that it is a mystery is because there are so many factors that can affect the severity of homesickness on a college student. The majority of these factors are to now be discussed.

English Fluency:

Fluency or knowledge of the English language has been noted as a factor in regards to homesickness in international college students.

• According to a sample of international college students researched by Yeh and Inose in 2003, English fluency was a negative factor in regards to stress.
• Studies have also suggested that knowledge of the English language has shown to predict international student home sickness.
• Greenland and Brown in 2005 also suggested that expectations of students in regards to their language ability can contribute to cultural stress.

Environmental Factors:

As part of moving towards a new place there comes a new university to adjust to as part of the package. In regards to international college students, depending on how they adjust at their new college can determine how they deal with their homesickness.

• In 1990, a researcher named Lu stated that the demands of academics in a college can lead to an increase of stress in international college students.
• A study of Chinese students in Britain supported this idea.
• Increased homesickness was shown through interconnection of the academic demands of college life during two months into their stay.
• Another international student study at Britain universities, this time on Japanese students, showed increased homesickness as early as two weeks into their stay at university and up to a period of eight months later. This study was performed by Greenland and Brown in 2005.

Cultural Diversity:

After growing up in a certain country for a majority of your life you are of course accustomed to the culture of that country. Imagine growing up in China. In China you are use to a certain cultural aspect you will find in only there. The martial arts aspect such as Kung Fu, Chinese language, the cuisine, books, and many other aspects are just a few of the many things you experienced growing up there. Now imagine going to a place that is out of your element to advance your college education. That is a whole new culture to adjust to or just even learn about. So of course homesickness is probably going to be experienced.

• In fact for one study conducted by Yeh and Inose in 2003, it was shown that home country accounted for 11.4% of variability found in the amount of stress levels in international students from Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin American due to homesickness.
• So basically there more differences between the home culture and the new culture in their country of country the more vulnerability to the elements of international student homesickness.
• Referring back to the study of Lu and Chinese students at Britain universities, the study showed a 94 % rate of homesickness among the students.
• It is said by the researcher that this number is due to the fact that Chinese culture has stronger family connection. With that connection in a way broken due to being in a different part of the world, of course the yearning for home will be there.
• Homesickness in international students is found at an even higher risk in African international students based on studies by researchers known as Constantine, Okazaki, and Utsey. Constantine reported that African students had greater reports of depression and behaviors that had an element of concealment.
• It is said that the depression and concealment behaviors are in fact due to that feeling of homesickness since the African culture places more importance on close relationships unlike which would be found in American culture and that lack of relationships in turn leads to the homesickness feeling.

How to Deal With International Student Homesickness?

After starting the new term in a university that is set in a different country that homesickness feeling still creeps on you each and every day. Fortunately you might want to know that there are ways that you can cope with that homesickness. So here are a few tips that can sure help if you need a way to put a smile on that face again.

• Get a routine in place. Sometimes having a routine can get you use to your new surroundings and make you much more comfortable. Try taking that routine you followed in your home land and maybe give it a unique twist that fits the style of the country you are studying in. it gives that something new each and every day.
• Meet new people. How are you going to make new friends if you remain in the room each day? No Skype or Face Book! Get out there and physically meet people. Socialize and get the talking going! You are bound to make a new friend. You might even find someone who is going through the same thing as you!
• Meet with some people who are also from your country. You can get that little taste of home again in a way.
All in all being an international student with homesickness can be quite a time to go through. Just remember to take it day to day and that smile will come again!