International Students House
Student lying on grass
London Life Student Life Student Tips

Navigating Homesickness in London

If you’re looking to move to London to pursue your studies, you’re bound to feel homesick at some point. London is a fun and exciting multicultural city, but it can feel cold and lonely sometimes. If you’re like me and moving to this big city means being away from friends and family, you’re going to need some help to beat that nostalgia and homesickness. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself while you’re exploring this brand-new city and settling into your new accommodation and school. Ready? Let’s dive in!

University Clubs and Associations

Joining your university’s student groups is a great idea whether you’re missing home or just want to make some new friends and cope with boredom. These groups focus on putting on fantastic events and activities that will allow you to meet amazing people and learn about campus life. Uni groups or associations vary in nature – from your interests to your academics – allowing you to completely customise your experience.

Group of students in the park
Find a group of students with common interests and be intentional about spending time with them.

Making friends is important, but it’s also important to build your confidence, put yourself out there, and learn skills that will help you succeed in life. Joining student groups can do more than just assist with homesickness. You plunge into social scenes, learn about the university social life, and it can help build up your game in terms of self-assurance and those crucial life skills. So, yes, these clubs are your key to controlling your university experience.

Making meals

The next thing I would suggest is cooking at home. Whenever I feel homesick, I cook dishes that my mother used to make for me, and it just makes me feel better and transports me back home. My preferred kind of therapy has been making easy-to-make comfort food. I didn’t know where my life would go or if I would make friends when I first arrived in London, but thank goodness, I have found a tiny family at the International Students House. I will always refer to that family of six as my first family in London.

Students cooking and socialising in kitchen
Food is always a good cure for homesickness and if making meals with friends can make your accommodation feel more like home

We all shared our struggles, supported one another, watched each other work hard, dealt with our homesickness, and laughed together. We created a home away from home, which helped us deal with our loneliness. The fact that most of my friends are also from my country has been especially helpful to me while living abroad. Therefore, I would strongly advise all international students moving to London to establish friendships, engage in conversation with everyone, and make friends who will be there for you when you need help.

Find activities to keep you busy

I have also kept myself busy to deal with homesickness, I have been busy with my school work, projects, internship, part-time job, and activities that take place in my accommodation like art club, coffee and chill (where we all get coffees from our cafe and chill together just catching up on life). This helped me immensely in my initial months, but make sure you keep a designated time for a video call with your parents and all the loved ones because as much as you miss them, they miss you too. You can also try joining the ISH Travel Club and get to see the UK and beyond with fellow students from different universities.

Travelling is a great way of meeting new people and keeping busy.
Travelling is a great way of meeting new people and keeping busy.

Make a set routine for your day and stay organised from the beginning and this will help you in the long run when you will be working under pressure for your deadline. Practice self-care too – find ways to take care of yourself in terms of mind and body. As a part of your self-care, you can even book appointments with your university’s mental health department and look for a counsellor because it going to be stressful and might take a toll on your mental health. I have been doing this and it has just made me calm and stronger from within.

Student reading a book in a coffee shop
Read books outside of your course and find activities that allow you to take a break from the routine of university.

Don’t let homesickness or the blues get you down. Engage with fellow students through uni associations, make some comfort food and keep yourself busy with something. Remember that it’s also important to take care of yourself, so don’t be afraid to ask for help from the mental health services offered by your university if needed. You’ll quickly find yourself feeling more at home in the big city and this will enhance your university experience.

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