Homesick? Maybe this will help <3

Authored By:

Karelia E.

This goes to all the people that may feel homesick during the winter holiday time. Christmas and New years eve was approaching and I am not gonna lie it was not always easy. Many exchange students feel strong homesickness during Christmas and New years eve and that is absolutely okay! I want to give you some tips and advice that helped me get through this time.

Try seeing this situation from a different perspective.

I know, I know very cliche and harder said than actually done. But shifting my mindset to other more positive things helped me a lot. We as exchange students have this one incredible chance to spend the holidays, no matter what you celebrate completely different from what we are used to. We try other food, have different games, different traditions and maybe you will celebrate Christmas one day later or earlier. I bet all of us exchange students live for excitement and trying new things and curious about other cultures and we are here it's the perfect opportunity to do just that. 

Hear some Christmas music from home and introduce it to friends and host family. 

There are many international songs that everybody knows for example “Last Christmas” or “All I want for Christmas” but there are also many that are only known in a country or region. For example, in my home country Germany every kid in my generation knows the Intro song from the kid's show “Weihnachtsmann & Co.KG”. Here (in Washington State) all of my friends know frosty the snowman and I had to know Idea who that was. Sharing my music with them was like bringing a piece of home here and brought me lots of comforts. 

Show some of your own Traditions. 

You can tell your host family about some of your traditions. What I did was tell my host mom about a tradition from Germany called “Nikolaus”. It’s basically getting little treats in your shoes. That day my host mom brought some “Kinder joy” and gum and put it in the kid's shoes. It was really nice to still be able to follow that tradition. 

Talk to your loved ones back at home. 

I need to add to this that this need to happen in a healthy amount or your homesickness can get worse. I talked a bit with my parents about how I missed spending these important days with them and they comfort me a lot. Talking with my parents just helped me a lot, they know me very well and know exactly how to comfort me. That was more than helpful during that time. 

Cooking and baking

This helps also during other times not especially Christmas. Cook your favorite dishes and desserts, that will not only make you really happy but also your host family because they can try some new food. I baked some cookies that my mom taught me with my host sister and it was lots of fun. She took some to school and her friends loved it. 

This is can be hard it was for me but honestly, it was completely worth it. I had so much fun and learned many new things. So to all the exchange students that might be feeling lonely or missing their home, you are not alone and look how far you’ve come and all the cool memories you made. We got this!