How to overcome homesickness during a stay in English
By Hebe Adventures

When you go on an English holiday, you can be overwhelmed by a variety of emotions, especially if it's your first time. For both parents and children, it is a separation that can temporarily disrupt daily life. For a parent it means saying goodbye to their child, seeing him take a plane and knowing that in the following weeks he will be in a new country, in contact with a new culture and new people. Although you know your host family and can communicate with them, a little apprehension is normal.

Even for the young it means taking a plane alone, saying goodbye to loved ones, friends and spending time with a new family, in a completely different situation.

Getting out of your comfort zone can have numerous advantages, including becoming aware of your resources, re-evaluating emotional ties and developing an ability to adapt.

However, some students, especially the younger ones, may find it difficult to evaluate these aspects and may be overwhelmed by the difficulty of integrating into a new environment. And all of this can lead to feelings of loneliness and homesickness.

Signs of homesickness

Homesickness particularly affects the youngest and those who have never had an experience of life abroad, such as an English holiday.

However, it is a common emotion that can arise in everyone, even for those who have already spent a period of their life away from home. Personality is a determining factor and individuals who are more adaptive suffer less, particularly at the beginning of the stay.

Nostalgia manifests itself as a feeling of distance from family, friends and one's environment. This happens especially in the evening, when after a day spent between summer English courses and other activities, thoughts come alive. This phenomenon may not be immediate and only manifest itself after a few weeks, when by now the life we were used to seems far away, at least in time.

Sometimes, however, these thoughts are not so clear and, in their place, you can experience some symptoms.

You may experience a sense of sadness and disinterest in what you do, having the feeling that time does not pass and that the daily activities are not so exciting. All the new things, like speaking a foreign language, going to classes and trying new foods, might seem like difficult and insurmountable obstacles.

Living a holiday in English overwhelmed by these emotions is a shame, as it is a unique opportunity to get to know a new language, a new culture and build new relationships. It is an experience that should be evaluated considering the positive aspects, rather than seeing it only as an uncomfortable situation.

How to overcome homesickness

Luckily you can always communicate with your family, talk clearly about how you feel and find a solution. Parents shouldn't make the mistake of indulging these emotions, even though it can be hard to see a child feeling homesick.

It is in fact an obstacle that can be overcome and can become an excellent life lesson for future adventures or for a second holiday in English. It is however a temporary situation and, instead of focusing on the disturbing element, it is more useful to follow a series of advice such as those listed below.

Participate in family life

Only those who suffer from nostalgia can do something to alleviate this feeling and defeat it. Staying active, rather than passively undergoing a situation, is one of the best ways to react. A holiday in English is an immersive experience, so you need to find the courage to let go and immerse yourself fearlessly in the events or activities organized by the school or host family. Not only to distract yourself, but also to understand that getting to know new traditions and trying something new isn't so bad.

Make new friends

Being alone in a new home, in a new family and in contact with a foreign language can be scary, but as you build relationships, these worries go away on their own. When we relate, attention shifts from ourselves to others, distracting ourselves for a while and avoiding focusing on personal problems. In a host family you may have the opportunity to meet someone of the same age, with whom you can talk and spend your free time having fun. By sharing your culture and traditions, you stop thinking about them in a nostalgic way, turning them into topics for conversation and making yourself known.

Stay busy

Focusing on studying and other daily activities is a trick that is as simple as it is effective. It's a way to leave no room for nostalgia, fear and other emotions that could ruin your stay in English. If you take summer English courses during the day, it helps to engage in them and evaluate the progress you are making. A few weeks of stay abroad may seem long, but if you stay committed and motivated, time will pass quickly and leaving home will seem too close.

Communicate with home, but only what is necessary

If you feel lonely and homesick, it's normal to want to reconnect with your loved ones. But that shouldn't be the only reason for calling, and you shouldn't resort to this solution all the time. It is important to talk about the experience you are having and to keep parents updated on your health. However, one must also break away to experience the linguistic and cultural immersion to the fullest. After all, it is an adventure in which individual resources are brought into play, and this must be an opportunity to grow and become independent.

Live in the present

During a stay in English one can feel homesick, but to remedy this inconvenience sometimes it is enough to stop, reflect and consider the experience for what it is, that is a limited period of youth in which one can experience a unique adventure . It is not a definitive situation and, unfortunately, it will end soon. As the days go by, homesickness could give way to sorrow for the holiday that has come to an end and, if one thinks from this point of view, once home, one will begin to feel nostalgic for the experience just lived. Therefore, instead of looking at the past, at what is missing or far away, it is better to live in the present, aware that the time spent in an English living room is precious and worth living it to the fullest.

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