How to Handle Homesickness While Traveling Abroad


Everyone anywhere who has done something away from home for an extended period of time has experienced homesickness.  Sometimes it is worse than other times, but everyone has experienced a little bit whether they know it or not.

I haven’t ever felt really homesick before even though I’ve done three summer camps by myself.  This trip was the first time I really missed home.  But I’m not the only person who felt this way. My roommates have also felt homesick in these first four days of our teen summer language camp in Paris.

Since everyone experiences homesickness, it is okay to talk to people about it.  I learned that the hard way. I tried to keep everyone from seeing that being in another country that was an ocean away from home was scaring me.  I tried to prove that I could be bigger than I felt on the inside, and that inevitably didn’t work.

Here are some things that you can do when you start feeling homesick.

  • Call, email or text your parents and talk to them about it.  Parents are your biggest support team!  They want nothing more than seeing you happy and successful and most parents will be willing to take five or ten minutes out of their day to talk about it with you.  Even if they can’t physically help you feel better, the love pouring out of your phone is enough to summon seventeen My Little Pony’s to give you hugs and take you back to a place of happiness.
  • Talk to your roommates.  It can seem tough, because it’s the first few days and you don’t want to seem like a wilting pansy, but chances are they’re also experiencing something like that and haven’t wanted to say anything about it either!
  • Take advantage of the scheduled excursions. On your outings you have opportunities to go shopping and experience Parisian city life.  Use those trips to your benefit! You can hunt for things that your family might enjoy seeing or just soak it all in so you can recount a great story later.

Enjoying some dancing with fellow language camp students in Paris.

  • Find some comfort food. If your counselors stop at a grocery store for anything, go in and get your favorite food.  They may not exactly have your mom’s special chicken noodle soup, but they probably have some of your favorite types of candy!  Then you can call or text your parents later and eat some during your conversation to create a homelike atmosphere.
  • Find a funny person. Hang around them until your sides are about to split from laughing and your eyes are tearing up!
  • Stay busy!  There are plenty of things to do.  From playing games with your counselors, participating in the evening activities (like dancing!), or talking with your friends about their home countries, there is always plenty of stuff to keep you busy during your stay.
  • Listen to some pump up songs!  I recommend the following:



Always remember that being in another country is an opportunity of a lifetime, so try to enjoy yourself. 

Do you have any tips for dealing with homesickness? Share them below!

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