As an international student in Australia, it's perfectly normal to feel homesick at times. It is very likely that every other international student has experienced homesickness before or will experience it at some point.

Although it’s a very common feeling, it can still be very overwhelming, potentially distracting you from your coursework and affecting your wellbeing. That’s why we’ve put together some tips to help you manage and overcome homesickness during your studies in Australia.

Make new friends

One of the best ways to deal with homesickness is to make new friends. There are so many different ways to meet new people; you could join a club or sports team, get a part-time job, try a new hobby or start volunteering in your spare time.

You may even meet new people where you live - particularly if you’re staying in student accommodation. Several fields of study involve group work and collaborative assessments. As a result, you’ll have ample opportunities to interact with your classmates and form new connections.

It’s also a good idea to befriend fellow international students as they will understand exactly what you’re going through. By connecting with people in the same position as you, you’ll be reminded that you’re not alone and that your feelings are valid.

Once you’ve made some new friends, be sure to check out all the incredible free things to do in Melbourne together.

Stay in touch with your loved ones

You may feel homesick when you are away from your family and friends. However, thanks to today’s technology, you can still stay in touch with your loved ones even if they are thousands of miles away.

Scheduling regular phone or video calls with your family and friends can help you feel less lonely and isolated in Australia. It’s also an excellent way to stay up-to-date with news from home.

Focus on self-care 

Being far away from home can be tough, which is why it’s so important to take good care of your physical and mental wellbeing. Make sure your life is balanced between work, study, rest and play so you don’t become too overwhelmed or burnt out.

Self-care looks different for everyone but you might like to try going on day trips or short holidays, having an at-home spa day, going for a walk, reading a book or simply cooking yourself a nice meal. Doing any of these things can help bring balance into your life and combat feelings of homesickness.

Explore your new city

While living in a new country can be difficult at first, it’s also an amazing opportunity. With new places and experiences around every corner, living in a new city presents a unique opportunity to create a second home.

Put together a list of things you want to do and places you want to see. This might include cafes and restaurants you want to visit, museums or markets you want to explore, or events and festivals you’d like to attend. This not only gives you something to do, but it will also help you enjoy living in your new city.

With the help of Melbourne’s outstanding public transport system, getting around the city and finding your new favourite spots is simple and convenient.

Become your own interior designer

Decorating your new home can bring you some much-needed comfort and familiarity. Consider featuring pictures of your loved ones or your homeland in your new space. This will help enhance your sense of connection to your home and history.

Seek support when needed

If you are struggling and feeling overwhelmed, make sure you seek support from your family, friends and networks.

If you feel like you need wellbeing and mental health assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Study Melbourne Hub or seek professional help. Above all else, the most important thing to remember is that help is available and you are not alone.