Thursday, October 8, 2015

Advice for Overcoming Homesickness in the U.S.

By Tanmayee Potluri
Student Ambassador,

San Jose State University

“Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was.” - Jodi Picoult

Homesickness is one of the most common problems that almost every international student faces during their course of study in any foreign country. I was no exception, and I still believe it is tougher to combat homesickness than it is to face many career-related issues abroad. Based on my experiences, I wanted to share some ways to overcome these nostalgic feelings.

Picoult’s quote speaks out aptly for me. We never realize how tremendously we love our family, friends, and home country until we enter a foreign country. We begin to understand that they are an indispensable part of our life, and then you suddenly feel saddened that they are no longer close. This happened to me in my initial days of being abroad. As time passed, I realized that one of the best ways to overcome my homesickness was to actually pick up the phone and call the person I was missing the most, rather than just sitting around and feeling sad about it. A five-minute call with your mom or dad will definitely make you feel better and will help you move on with the work you are supposed to complete. You can also share your feelings with a friend who can understand what you are going through and who can help you feel better.

Have you ever heard the quote: “In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take?” Take those chances to see new places, meet new people, explore who you are, and get out of your comfort zone. You need to get involved in one or more activities that you're interested in. Most colleges have different sports, clubs, and social events to join or attend. Doing so not only keeps you busy but also helps you to meet new people with similar interests who are from different parts of the world. Networking is also one of the best things you can do while staying in a foreign country.

In the end, it’s all about falling in love with the new place you're living in
—it just takes a little time to become familiar with the new setting and to start enjoying it. It can be done by trying to adapt to the new culture, learning new languages, and trying the activities that the locals enjoy. If you get bored, try going to a coffee shop and working there. If you want to have fun, play a sport or catch up on a new movie. If you want to feel productive, learn something new. Within no time, you will realize that most of the things you do to overcome homesickness will, in turn, help you grow as a person and gain a new perspective on life. As Stephen Hawking once stated, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”
Tanmayee Potluri is a product manager at Intuit in Mountain View, California who came to the United States from India in 2010 to pursue her Master in Computer Science degree from San Jose State University, which she earned in 2012. She previously worked at IBM, also as a product manager, for two years. She describes herself as a self-motivated individual who is passionate about work, her career and technology. In her free time, she enjoys meeting new people, cooking, traveling and learning something new.

1 comment:

  1. No matter how excited you may be about college life, even the most independent freshmen can find themselves struck with homesickness. How do you deal with it?
    1. Understand that what you are going through is normal
    2. Get used to your new surroundings
    3. Make a space for yourself at school
    4. Stay connected with home—but not too connected
    5. Talk to other students (or professionals) on campus
    6. Read more at:


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