Studying abroad, homesickness and quarantine

It is such a strange life we find ourselves in and many of us are facing a new “normal”. Whether at school, university, studying abroad or having moved to a new area to live and work.

Dealing with lockdowns, quarantine, restrictions on our social lives and the changes to the way we live will all have an impact on our lives. We must be ready to accept this but know what to do when things are not right.
Feeling homesick or slightly worried is completely normal and people will understand and relate to these feelings.

How to deal with quarantine and restrictions when studying abroad

In the next few paragraphs you will find practical advice for dealing with issues such as homesickness.
You will also find useful links and support networks.


With or without Covid-19, plenty of students find themselves missing home, family and friends when they are away. There are no special tricks to dealing with this, but accepting it and chatting about how you feel will help and you may find that the person you choose to talk to is feeling the same way and is appreciative of someone else being there for them.

Tips to combat homesickness

  • Plan your day so that you have something to look forward to during the day
  • Find a regular time to talk to family and/or friends at home. It’s something to look forward to and it will become part of your day.
  • Talk to friends or to someone who is overseeing your care
  • Make an appt to see a GP or a Counsellor if the wave of sadness is not going away – don’t try and handle things alone
  • Try and get involved in the life around you so that you feel you “belong” and share thoughts with the friends you trust

Tips to cope with quarantine

Finding yourself in a new environment, without time to make strong friendships, and then being quarantined is difficult for the strongest of us, but for most will cause anxiety and question what we are doing. It is made all the more difficult as, whilst students can use this time to work, we all need more than this in our lives to keep us physically and mentally healthy.

Timetable your day to include some\all of the following:

  • Fitness regime – stretch, relax and fitness
  • Set aside work hours in 1 to 3 hour slots depending on your age. Always make sure you take regular breaks
  • Set aside just a short period in the morning for social media and then put it away. Take your mind off virtual life and focus on life around you if you can
  • Eat regularly and drink plenty
  • Set yourself a target of reading a number of books weekly
  • Learn a new activity
  • Keep a diary or write a daily blog
  • Set aside a regular point in the day/week to phone friends and family
  • Give yourself 7/8 hours sleep each night where possible
  • Listen to relaxing music particularly whilst you are working

Support available when studying abroad

Schools will have Matrons, Housemasters and Housemistresses, Tutors and a variety of nursing, counselling and teaching staff to whom pupils may turn and ask for help. Universities will advise as to who they have available and all students should be able to access support from Counsellors and medical staff alongside their Tutors. For everyone there are online facilities for support from CHILDLINE, THE SAMARITANS AND the NSPCC but of course your GP or Practice Nurse will support you too.

However you are feeling and whether you are alone or with new friends, the world is a strange place at present and we need to “be there” for each other. If you are feeling strong and you notice someone near you is not; ask if you can help, show a hand of friendship and include them. There has never been a more important time to virtually “wrap your arms around one another” and “be there” ….. or know someone who can support.

– speak to someone and look after one another.

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