Dealing with Homesickness

Almost all students feel homesick at one point or another during their time at University. If you’re a new student, it could be because you’re living away from home for the first time, or because you are missing family and friends you are used to seeing more regularly.

There are a lot of factors that can result in feelings of homesickness. The important thing to remember is that feeling homesick is totally normal - plenty of students feel the same way as you and you are not alone. The feelings are usually temporary and will pass after your first few weeks, however there are things you can do to help you feel better in the meantime.

We’ve compiled some suggestions of how to cope with homesickness below.

I’m struggling to cope with homesickness, what can I do?

It can be difficult moving away from home, however there are things you can do to help yourself feel better.

Keeping yourself busy is one of the best things you can do to take your mind off your homesickness. There are so many exciting things happening across campus that you’re sure to find something that suits your interests. Try getting involved in a student society or club, or go along to a Give it a Go or Social Sport session. Both of these are great ways to meet like-minded students and to get more involved with University life.

It may sound like tough love, but try not to go home on the weekends too often. Staying around University as much as you can will help you to adjust to life at University. It’s also important to stay healthy - eating well will help you feel a lot better in yourself as well as boost your energy levels.

If you would like some advice on settling in from one of your peers, you can sign up for a mentor through our mentoring scheme [link: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/mentoring/mentees]. The scheme matches you with a friendly second or third year student whom you can ask for advice on how to navigate University life. The scheme is very informal, and it’s up to you whether you want to meet up with your mentor in person or communicate with them via email.

If after a few weeks you are still struggling to cope with homesickness, you may wish to contact a member of our support team:

Life in Sheffield is very different to my home country, what can I do to help me adjust?

Moving to a new country is both exciting and daunting. During your first few days and weeks here. you are bound to experience some feelings of homesickness and likely also some confusion about the way people in the UK behave and act.

All this is entirely normal and part of the process of adjusting to a new culture. Check out our Global Campus webpages [link: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/globalcampus] for lots of events and workshops that can help you find your feet and get settled at Sheffield.

If you are still struggling with cross-cultural difficulties then you may wish to contact the International Student Support team:

You can find further information about culture shock and how to cope with it on the UKCISA website

I’m finding it hard to make friends, what can I do?

Coming to University is a big step, and making friends and fitting in can sometimes feel like an even bigger one. It might be that you haven´t found like-minded people yet and this can cause difficulties in settling in. Why not try joining a society or a sports club [link] where you can find people who share your interests? Joining a club or society is a great way to meet other students in an easy and informal setting, and to get involved in a community of people who like the same things you do.

Staying in a new room is making me homesick, what can I do to feel more at home?

Whether you’re living in private or University accommodation, a new bedroom might seem a bit uninviting and un-lived-in.. Putting your personal stamp on your new room is a good way to make it more homely - here are some suggestions of how to this:

  • Make the bed - this can make your room seem brighter and more personal almost instantly, particularly if you’ve invested in colourful bedding (in University accommodation, bed linen packs will be available for purchase from most key collection points).
  • Bring some photos of family, friends or pets to display.
  • Bring a few ornaments or knick-knacks from your bedroom at home to make the space feel more personal.
  • Invest in a houseplant or two.
Where can I get help with issues at my University accommodation?

If you live in University Accommodation, you will have a Residential Mentor assigned to your particular room or flat. Residential Mentors are usually older students who are on hand to look after residents' welfare, discipline and wellbeing. They can also help you if you are feeling homesick, isolated or just want to know more about living and studying in Sheffield.

Your Residential Mentor will visit your flat towards the start of term to introduce themselves - in the meantime, you can find their contact details (including when you can visit them face-to-face during term time) on the Residence Life webpages

Where can I find further information and advice on coping with homesickness?

The following teams at the University can all help you with advice on how to cope with homesickness. If you want to speak to someone face-to-face but aren’t sure who to talk to, visit SSiD on Level 3 of the Students’ Union building and we will do our best to help.

International Student Services international.students@sheffield.ac.uk
Central Welfare and Guidance 0114 222 4321 support@sheffield.ac.uk
Student Advice Centre   0114 222 8660 advice@sheffield.ac.uk

If the information you are looking for is not included in our web pages and you aren't sure who to approach, please come to SSiD and we will try to point you in the right direction.