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How to Survive the Holidays Abroad

Alexis Cobau
December 10, 2013

I think if you took an unofficial poll of ex-pats and students studying abroad, the times when homesickness is felt most acutely is during the holiday season. Here are some tips to avoid catching the plague of all study abroad students and foreigners on the most contagious of days: The Holidays.

1) Stay off facebook and social media — I know, I know this is probably a lot to ask for a lot of you, but seeing pictures of all your friends with their family at Thanksgiving or Christmas isn’t going to do much of anything to get rid of your own homesickness and will, in fact, probably make it worse.

2) Go do something fun! Make SURE to take time to do things that you like on the day of the holiday, whether it’s eating at your favorite restaurant or getting a manicure or going shopping. You could even spend the day sight-seeing or going to one of your favorite spots in your town, which is a personal favorite of mine when I’m feeling homesick or down and is an especially great way to combat homesickness.

3) Get together with your friends! Whatever you do, make sure you do it with a good group of friends.Your friends are your support group and are probably going to be having a lot of the same feelings you do about not being home for the holidays, so being with them is going to be extra helpful on the days that you are going to feel the most homesick.

4) Connect with the international community in your town. Lots of international restaurants often have thanksgiving or christmas dinners around the holidays, which can satisfy some of your seasonal cravings. Also, see if your city or town has a local international market, where you could pick up some holiday food items to remind you of home.

Whatever you do, GET THE HECK OUT OF YOUR ROOM AND OFF YOUR COMPUTER. Being alone only seems to intensify homesickness, especially if you’re bored.

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Alexis Cobau

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Alexis Cobau is a Junior at the University of Michigan, majoring in Chinese and International Studies with a concentration in International security, cooperation and norms. She is excited to be returning to China for the first time since her original foray into study abroad in Harbin, China on an NSLI-Y State Department scholarship as a rising senior in High School. This will be her sixth year studying Chinese and she can&#39;t wait to spend it exploring Beijing. When not practicing her Chinese characters and tones, Alexis enjoys reading, writing, drawing and cooking.</span></p>

Destination:
Term:
2013 Fall
Home University:
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Major:
Asian Studies
International Studies
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