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Faculty: Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
School: School of Creative Industries
Course: MA Music Therapy
Category: Student blogs

7 December 2023

ARU cohort friends at Guy Fawkes Night

I absolutely love living in England, but there are moments where I feel homesick. Here’s how I cope with that.

The holidays as an international student can be hard. People may not know about your holiday back home, and it might not be recognised in the UK, which is a strange feeling to know that your loved ones are gathering or celebrating and it’s just a normal day here. Recently, it was Thanksgiving back in the States. Normally, I would have the day off and spend it with loved ones eating delicious food. I almost completely forgot about the holiday until later in the day when I received a few messages about it. It felt different to be carrying on with my Thursday schedule knowing back home they were celebrating.

Homesickness is a common and natural feeling for many international students which can come on from cultural differences, being away from family and friends, missing familiar foods, or holidays and celebrations. When I moved here, I went through the process of cultural adjustment to life in England and sometimes it contributes to my homesickness. At the same time though, when I lean more into my life here and celebrate their holidays and festivities, I end up having so much fun with that. Both years I have attended the firework display for Guy Fawkes night and really enjoyed that!

Here are a few coping strategies:

  • Connecting with others: Join clubs, attend events, and make an effort to meet new people
  • Establishing a routine: Create a daily routine to provide a sense of stability
  • Exploring the local community: Familiarize yourself with the local area to make it feel more like home
  • Staying connected with home: Use technology to stay in touch with family and friends back home
  • Seeking support: Don't hesitate to reach out to university counselling services or support groups

There are so many positive aspects of cultural exchange that can help counter homesickness with so much potential for personal growth and resilience. Embracing and learning from this new life abroad can enhance your overall experience. I encourage my fellow students to be patient with themselves and to seek support when needed.

Find other ways to look after your wellbeing. Our International Student Advice Service also runs social events and trips.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.