Here at Manchester we are proud to welcome thousands of people from all over the world to study in our beautiful city. We hope that you all come to view Manchester as your home, but we know that doesn’t necessarily come easily or quickly. Moving to a new city – or even country – can be an amazing experience, but it can be just as challenging as it is exciting. Regardless of whether you’ve moved 3000 miles away from home or 30, the majority of people will encounter homesickness in one form or another during their time at University. Here are some ways that you can help alleviate homesickness, or prevent it from arising in the first place.
Staying in touch
This one may seem obvious, but keeping in contact with friends and family at home can quickly move to the bottom of your priority list once work starts building up. Make sure you designate some time every week to catch up with your loved ones. This can be as simple as sending a few texts back and forth, but it’s even better if you can make the time for a phone call or FaceTime conversation.
Make new connections
As much as keeping in touch with your loved ones from home is important, it is also necessary to build new relationships with the people around you in Manchester. Try getting to know your flatmates and course mates by asking them questions about what their life was like prior to University. You may find out that they miss home as much as you do.
It’s also okay if you don’t become best friends with the people you see most often. The beauty of University is that there are so many opportunities to meet likeminded people. Our Student’s Union has over 400 societies covering a massive range of hobbies and interests. Whatever your passion -from Debate to Ballroom Dancing – you can find a society full of people who are on your wavelength. You could also have a look on our Connect page for more tips and ideas.
As well as making friends, societies are a great way to keep you busy whilst at University. You may not be used to having so much free time, which can sometimes lead to boredom and some negative thought patterns. Establishing a routine can be helpful in combating these feelings, so find things you’re interested in and get involved! But remember not too take on too much. You can do anything, but not everything.
There may be some specific aspects of your home town which you miss most, but you could find things in Manchester which you grow to love just as much. Explore the city and find buildings and places that really catch your eye or speak to you. For example if you lived by a river at home and find yourself missing that, you could take a trip to Salford Quays to enjoy the sun setting over the water. Manchester has so much to offer, so you’re bound to find something – or some things – that make you feel more at home.
Things to Consider
Social media may make you think that you are the only one going through these challenging aspects of the University journey. Your friends from home may be posting pictures from their new University life, seemingly having the best time. If you’re not feeling completely settled yet, seeing these posts may make you feel like you are alone in your circumstances. We’re here to tell you that the majority of people do go through many ups and downs during this transition period, and what you’re experiencing is entirely normal, regardless of what you see on social media.
If you want to talk to other students who are going through a similar situation as you, the Counselling Service offers a workshop to facilitate this. The Making Manchester Home sessions are drop-in so no appointment is necessary.