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5 Unconventional Ways for First-time Immigrants to Overcome Homesickness

Choosing to start anew in a different country can be quite exciting. All the novel experiences are usually delightful. If you have decided to pursue your career in Canada (the United Nation’s top-ranked country to live in), your first order of poutine at a local restaurant can taste like the best fries in the world. Your first snowy Christmas can feel like that beautiful Hallmark movie you have always loved.

However, one thing’s for sure: You will find yourself longing for the familiarity of your motherland. There will be days when all you want are the flavors of home. There will be moments during your challenging work week when your family’s encouraging words and their physical presence are what you need to keep on going.

Suffice it to say, a potentially bad case of homesickness can inflict you. You may find yourself entertaining thoughts of heading back home even if you had exerted a lot of effort and paid a considerable amount of money toward procuring a work visa.

Homesickness, however, is not a terminal disease. More often than not, time can heal it. But if you wish to expedite the process of getting over your homesickness, you need to be quite intentional in overcoming it.

Leading immigration consultants in Dubai give five unconventional strategies that are known to work for first-time immigrants dealing with homesickness.

1.     Create a new ritual

One of the most reliable ways of dealing with loneliness is by knowing all the things you do on a day-to-day basis. A ritual takes that to a whole new level because it’s repeated action and intention.

You can create and perform a ritual to beat your need to latch onto what is familiar. Your ritual can be deliberately about forming new relationships in your community and nurturing them. These new relationships and activities can spark joy in the life you currently lead.

2.     Continue an old hobby

This is not only an effective way to distract you from the tendency to think about what you’ve left behind; it can also tie you back to the roots of your personal enjoyment.

One of the scary things about homesickness is that it makes you uncertain about your life. But you can balance this out with accomplishments in a different area of life, like activities you can fall back on to keep your mind and body preoccupied and productive. A hobby is a great source of continuity.

3.     Reconnect with your old ties through one specific activity

Take a cue from Asian immigrants everywhere in the world. Most of them get over homesickness easily because they stay in touch with the interests of loved ones back home.

Koreans, for example, they reconnect through their K-dramas, which are viewable online and certain cable channels. It often seems like they never left Seoul because they get to watch beloved TV shows in real time and exchange stories with family back home through Skype.

4.     Take lessons on local culture

Many people feel no need for this, but this can actually help you to build more connections faster and make your life in a new country less lonely. Get educated on the local lifestyle and activities at a culture center so you can try interesting new things and feel more like you belong in your new environment.

Most of the time, what intensifies homesickness is the unwillingness to accept that a new country can also be “home.” By being more open to this possibility, you can struggle less and slowly build strong connections similar to what you had where you came from.

5.     Deliberately be active in the community.

Embrace your new home. Take part in the activities. If you can’t find events to attend, get in touch with your local council and provide your contact details so they can reach out to you should something come up. This is a wonderful way to get busy and meet folks.

Pining for your motherland is understandable, but always remember the reason why you have decided to migrate, and make the best out of the situation. With a positive mindset and deliberate efforts, from feeling homesick, you will soon feel like you have indeed found an equally great home away from home.


Bevan Berning is an Immigration professional and owner of Pathway Visas, an Immigration Agency dealing mostly with skilled immigration to Canada and Australia. Bevan’s enthusiasm for the industry has kept in the Immigration field for the past seven years. Bevan is South African by birth and has been residing in Dubai for the past eight years.