Being an international student can be hard sometimes. Whether your gone for six months, 1 year or two years, being away from your family and friends can more difficult than you imagined.
The feeling of homesickness is something most international students get. At some point everyone craves the more familiar like friends, food, pets or family. Sometimes it just feels like it all is so far away.
The holiday’s can make it even more difficult as you remember certain traditions you used to have, family gatherings and home cooked meals. It can also be hard to miss all of those traditions going on at home that you have grown up with for so many years.
The best way to deal with homesickness when you’re an international student in another country is to get out and meet some people. You can even do something that reminds you of home.
Carving the turkey! Photo:Andreas Bergman
This past Easter I took a trip to Sjövde to visit my Swedish family. Being around family, even if they are not your own, is a great way to kick that holiday homesickness. We may not totally speak each others languages, but we all enjoy it nonetheless. Just hanging out and relaxing with my second family makes me feel like I’m back at home.
This visit was especially nice because we tried out some Canadian holiday traditions. In our family, it is very typical for most holidays (Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving) to get together and spend most of the day preparing a turkey and a big holiday feast. The get-together usually involves everyone in and around the kitchen enjoying food and wine, making jokes and having fun.
This year my Swedish family surprised me with a turkey and together we spent the afternoon in the kitchen preparing the turkey and all of the fixings!
A Swedish-Canadian inspired Easter feast! Photo:Andreas Bergman
If you are new to Sweden and don’t yet have any close family, friends, or family of friends there are always lots of chances to meet new people. Most universities have a buddy matching program for exchange students where they match you up with a Swede. Some schools also match you up with families in the region to enhance your ‘Swedish’ experience.
So if your feeling a little homesick, don’t worry, it happens to everyone. Try to take your mind off of it and hang out with some close friends, get our of your apartment and do something. The feeling doesn’t last forever and soon you will be back to normal!