How to deal with homesickness

Students working in a cafe on campus

When you first arrive in a new country it is normal to feel a little homesick while you settle in to your new life. There are lots of ways you can help yourself to adjust to the new experience, and get the most from your time here. Students come to the International Study Centre from different places across the world, but when you are all here together, you grow close to each other and make friends for life. Brighton is home to thousands of students from around the world, giving you the opportunity to meet people who share your interests.

Cultural differences

From day one you should embrace the British culture, and the different cultures of your new classmates. All the new things you learn about people, and their lifestyles and languages will develop you as a person and give you a global, open-minded outlook on the world. At the University of Sussex and the International Study Centre, international perspective and diversity are among our key values.

International Foundation Year graduate, Bailing, from China says: "England is a very multicultural country. Brighton reflects this. There are 15 language colleges and two universities in Brighton. People here are really nice, and respect the culture differences. There are several culture festivals in Brighton every month."

Social life

Students in the UK have varied interests. Joining clubs and societies and finding what you like will help you get the most from your time studying abroad. Be sure to get involved with:

  • team sports like beach volleyball and football
  • a creative class
  • day trips
  • an activity that teaches you new skills
  • events in Brighton, like the Thai Festival, or Burning the Clocks.

Read about the things you can do in Brighton.

Finding food from home

Brighton is an international city with many international food shops. Whatever your taste, you will be able to find food that reminds you of home.

International food markets

There are many supermarkets in Brighton, but local markets offer you a different food shopping experience. Often smaller, they sell good quality and cheaper food. Around Brighton, you can find:

  • Chinese: Yum Yum Oriental Market, Seven Starts and Fortune Markets
  • Middle Eastern: Al Amin Exotic Foods and Turkish Food Market
  • International: Tropically4You and Taj the Grocer.

Cook with friends

Why not make your favourite meal from home in your own kitchen? Get the ingredients you need and cook with friends to enjoy a meal you miss, and socialise with your friends or roommates.

Advice from our students

International Foundation Year student Dayna, from Canada, says there are several ways to how to deal with homesickness:

  • Surround yourself with memories of home: "When I was feeling a bit sad or homesick, I would put pictures of my family and friends on my walls.”
  • Talk to your classmates: "The most important thing is to talk to people because somebody is going through the exact same thing. Somebody is always willing to help you."
  • Keep busy: "Fill up your time, be busy, do things and get involved, because that’s a way to take your mind off things. "

Soon after you arrive in the UK, you will find that your friends and teachers will quickly become your Sussex family. International Foundation Year student, Talal, from Pakistan says: "In the beginning, I was really scared because it was completely a new place for me with new people. But as time flew, the International Study Centre really settled me in well. I started having that feeling of family and I didn’t miss home anymore as I used to. The teachers were interactive, loving and caring. The whole staff of the International Study Centre were extremely welcoming and helpful."

It's important to remember that the International Study Centre staff are here to help you adjust to your new life. Find out how we can help you settle in to your new life.