Overcoming homesickness while teaching abroad

Overcoming homesickness while teaching abroad

That feeling of homesickness. Teachers abroad everywhere: we’ve all had it! While teaching abroad can be thrilling, it can also be incredibly challenging in a number of ways.

Are you finding yourself feeling FOMO (fear of missing out) as you scroll through your Facebook news feed? Or even when you attempted to make your mom’s signature dish - and ended up setting the kitchen on fire?

More often than not, homesickness takes root when we try to recreate home wherever we are. It's never going to be the same - but that’s a good thing! That’s why you chose to teach abroad in the first place, for a unique cultural experience and the chance to experience the adventure of a lifetime.

That said, here are some quick ideas to help you curb those pangs of homesickness:

Make time for your friends and family back home. Think about how lucky we are nowadays that no matter how many miles we’re apart, we can still have a conversation “face to face.” Thanks, Skype!

Make time for new friends, too. This may mean finding a community of expats in your area or meeting teachers from all over the world through your job. No matter where your international teaching adventure has taken you, there are always others in a similar situation to you. 

Become a local. Experience the unique culture of your destination. Get to know people. Try the local cuisine and get to know your way around. Make a list of local places or activities and challenge yourself to do or see all of them within a month. While you might feel like a tourist at first, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll get to know your surroundings. You’ll be giving out directions in no time!

Celebrate your cultural holidays. Holidays are usually when you will feel the most homesick. You don’t have to miss out on the action! Recreating the holidays in your new surroundings can be a tradition to share with your new friends.

Celebrate new holidays! Embrace the unfamiliar, you may find yourself celebrating these new holidays for years to come.

Get started on that travel bucket list. Teaching is a job structured with vacation time, so take advantage of this awesome perk! Plan an exotic trip or book an excursion for something you’ve always wanted to do. This will give you something fun to do and keep you focused on the next adventure where you are, rather than dwelling on what’s happening at home.

Plan a trip from friends or family. Are your friends and family feeling envious of your new and exciting life? There’s nothing wrong with letting them know they’re welcome to come visit! Let them in on the fun too and play tour guide in your new home country.

Ask them to bring some of your home comforts. When your friends or family are visiting, don’t forget to ask them to bring some of your favorite snacks. No one planning a visit anytime soon? Luckily, the mail still works.

Remind yourself why you did this! Never lose sight of why you chose this path for yourself. Nothing breaks that feeling of homesickness quite like some good old-fashioned perspective.

Thinking of heading abroad to teach? Apply to teach abroad at top international schools with Teach Away today!

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