Studying abroad, miles away from home, one the common things most of internationals students has to deal with is “homesickness”. Homesickness usually means the unsatisfactory feeling you get when you are away from home for too long. It is a sort of separation reaction, where the individual concentrates on what is missed from the old environment “home”. This feeling can be manifested in anxiety; lack of concentration, appetite, sleep therefore can affect general health and influence your performance as student. I have four months living as student Taiwan, miles away from home I think I start missing my home, not the physical structure of my house but the mental state in which I feel comfortable, safe and accepted. Usually this mental state is provided by the important people surround me, relatives and close friends. However, I have made my own ways to overcome that feeling, for example: find activities to do when I miss my relatives, meet new people and makes friends, keep in touch with mom, dad, friends and relatives, keep a positive attitude and most important is to have a few pictures in my room and lab of the people that I miss most.

Have a few pictures in my room and lab of the people that I miss most. I started by having a few simple pictures of specific loved ones that I miss most. I keep pictures of my parents and siblings in my room. I believe that good pictures can lead to too many missed memories.

Find an activity to do when I miss my family. I recently enrolled in the local YZU’s gym for swimming lessons; this has improved my health condition and has served as stress reduction and brain building. I have also enrolled in calligraphy club, this has allowed me to get in touch with Chinese local students and to know a little bit more about their culture and language. Another activity that I like to do when I feel lonely is window shopping with my international friends at the local’s night markets, go to the second round movies and eat a delicious Taiwanese food. I also try to feel at home by cooking some of the typical food of my country, last time I got together with my international friends in our dorms and we cooked and ate tortillas with cheese, sausages and “gallopinto”, a typical food in Centro America region made of raise and beans mixed it together. This reminded me my mom’s delicious food at home.

Meet new people and makes friends. This has not been a difficult task to achieve since most of Taiwanese people are really friendly, however sometimes the culture difference and language barrier plays as an obstacle in meeting new local students. Though, I am fortunate that my department and project manager usually do activities to get international students involve with local student, for example: I had really fun in my first English summer camp, in which I met new local students that are now my friend and lab mates.

Keep in touch with mom, dad, friends and relatives. This perhaps the easiest of all the tips, nowadays with social networks, it is easy to keep in touch with the people that I miss most. My dad, who is 63 years and has never had good computer skills, just learned how to send emails. Now I get an email from him every day, in which He always advises me about life. I also talk with my parents through Skype especially with my mom, she always says how much she miss me and that she waiting for me back home. Keeping in touch with the people that miss most, makes me feel like I am in home.

Keep a positive attitude. I just don’t wait for good things to happen; I know that I have to work towards happiness.  I try to create a happy environment around today to remain happy tomorrow.   Laugh is my best medicines for this, when I feeling low I try to open myself up and see the funny side of things. I try to think in all the great things that are happening now. I always realize that life is complex game, yet funny game. Another thing that helps me to keep a positive attitude is to clarify my purpose (that simple positive statement of why I am in Taiwan) and prioritize it. This helps me to visualize my future creating a positive mental state that motivates me to become what I want to be. Keeping positive attitude can help you to overcome homesickness.

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