International student: ‘We can’t just go home for the weekend’

joshBefore I start talking about my family and friends being in another country, let me tell you one thing. There is no set guidelines to follow on how to deal with homesickness, especially if you are from another country.

Each one of us has different preferences and ways to deal with it, but you have to find what works best for you. In the meantime, here is my story and how I started to manage my homesickness.

My name is Joshua Nadeau. I am sophomore who was born and raised in Germany.

What this means is that while I am over here studying at BGSU, all my family and high school friends are back in Germany.

Now, I know a lot of students left their hometown to come to BG, but dealing with international homesickness is a very unique problem.

Unlike many other students, you can’t just hop in a car or buy a train ticket to go home for the weekend.

Going home for you is almost a vacation because it takes a lot of planning because you can’t fit everything into a weekend.

The first time I was struck with homesickness was a few weeks after Move-In Weekend. That’s when everything started to become a daily habit for me and I realized that my parents weren’t just living in the next town in order to help me.

I messaged my mother and set up a time to video chat. I talked to her and she told me just to relax and get involved in some organizations.

That didn’t seem as easy it sounded! Being a first-year student at college with what seemed like an overwhelming amount of students. I was lucky enough that a big event called Campus Fest was in a few days. Campus Fest gives you the chance to explore all kinds of organizations.

Eventually, I ended up getting involved in Greek Life, which has helped me deal with my homesickness almost immediately.

It doesn’t matter which organization you join; just join something that you enjoy. It will help you make friends and get your mind off of things that could be happening at home.

Another important thing is to keep in touch with your family and friends, but don’t make it your life. There’s absolutely nothing wrong to video chat or message people from home; however, you want to avoid doing it so often that you avoid meeting people here.

For me, it worked best to video chat with people from home about once a month. That way I was able to catch up with everyone, but it wasn’t like a constant reminder of what I was missing out.

Everyone needs to figure out what works best. For me, it was getting involved on an organization and avoiding constantly thinking about what was happening at home.

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