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How to deal with homesickness when living in Australia

OSHCstudents-Moving to a new country – or even traveling for long periods – is a thrilling adventure. The anticipation of new things to see, new people to meet, and a brand new, often very different, lifestyle is part of the excitement when you are making all the plans. Then you arrive and it is all so new and fresh. Wow, what a wonderful new world of possibilities! Until … homesickness starts to become a problem.

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Homesickness is a normal part of the process

The first thing you need to know is that homesickness is normal. If you moved to a new country or spent a lot of time somewhere new, and did not feel homesick, you might ask yourself why. After all, you spent most of your life in your homeland and now you have given it up to be somewhere else that may be completely foreign. For many people, dealing with homesickness is one of the inevitable consequences of not being in your home country.

7 ways to cope with homesickness

If, however, you are feeling homesick and would rather get through it so you can feel happier to stay, then there are a few things you can do to deal with it.

Have a good cry from time to time.

If it helps to look at pictures of home, eat your favorite food from home, or talk with someone special you left behind, then do it. Crying is our body’s way of releasing emotions. It is sad to leave behind what means so much to you.

Remember your motivations for moving.

A lot of people leave their home countries and come to Australia for “a better life”. That could be because of economic troubles back home, political unsettledness, the promise of better education, and career prospects, to reunite with family members who moved earlier or simply to enjoy the sunshine, carefree lifestyle, and wide open spaces. When you are dealing with homesickness, remind yourself why you moved. Sit under a tree, on a beach, or on your front doorstep in the fresh air and think why Australia was so special to you that you wanted to move here.

Fill your living space with reminders of home.

Just because you moved to Australia, does not mean you have to give up your cherished cultural identity. Hang pictures or place candles, ornaments, or photo frames around your home. Keep your prized possessions in view such as a scarf, dinnerware, rug, jewelry, or incense burner.

Celebrate your homeland’s holidays.

In Australia, many cultural and religious festivities are observed and celebrated. Chinese New Year, Holi, Diwali, St Patrick’s Day, Ramadan, Paniyiri and Oktoberfest are all examples of special international celebrations. You will often find them advertised in your local area but if you want more information you might like to contact your country’s Consulate in the state where you live and they can direct you to local groups or organizations.

Plan more activities that make Australia feel more like home.

Revisit how you felt when you first arrived in Australia. Did you really see everything you wanted to back then? Make a list of things you want to do and places you want to visit and put them on your calendar so you do them. Immersing yourself more in your local area will make it feel more like your home.

Shop for home comforts.

In every major city, there are cultural hot spots where you should be able to find ingredients from home that will help you make your favorite dish. Or, take a seat in a restaurant that serves your favorite authentic dishes. Buy a little trinket that reminds you of home either by sight, smell, feel, taste, or sound. Sensory triggers bring moments of true comfort and even if they only cost a dollar or two, or they are consumed and then gone, it may just be those moments that you needed to get over your homesickness, for today at least.

If you are international students, foreigners arriving in Australia, or Australian citizens traveling abroad looking for OSHC, OVHC, or travel insurance, please contact OSHCstudents Team at email: info@oshcstudents.com and our partners for further information and assistance.

OSHCstudents (Sources: Allianz Care Australia)

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