Holiday Homesickness

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Andy Jacobs
November 21, 2022
Holiday Homesickness

Hi everyone,

I hope you are safe, happy, and healthy! 

I wanted to touch on something I know a lot of people worry about before going abroad for an extended period of time. 


I have been lucky enough to not be too homesick during my internship in Rome. I have had occasional bouts where I get sad, but nothing too extreme. This was honestly super surprising to me because I am extremely close with my family and thought I would get hit with homesickness like a freight train. But that train never came.

I chat with them when I can, but I know that this is a once and a lifetime experience to intern in Rome, so I am mostly positive and taking in all that I can. I’m only abroad for four months and then I’ll get to see my family as much as I want and tell them all of my exciting stories. 

But just because I’ve adjusted well, doesn’t mean that homesickness isn’t real. I have quite a few friends who all confide in me about how much they miss their families and the comforts of home. This can become increasingly harder during the holiday season. For me and the friends I have made through IES Abroad, we will all be abroad for Thanksgiving. It’s challenging to think about not being with family for a major holiday. It can be even more upsetting to think about missing out on family traditions and not having the Thanksgiving that we are all used to. 

Once I started talking with my friends about this, I began to experience some “Holiday Homesickness” myself. But, I did some reflection and decided to change my mindset.

There will be countless other Thanksgiving holidays I can spend with my family where we have turkey, put the Christmas Tree up and watch the Thanksgiving Parade, but I will most likely only have one Thanksgiving in Italy. I have elected to scrap the American traditions of turkey and mashed potatoes and decided that I’ll instead be thankful for the opportunity to be in Italy during my Thanksgiving abroad. 

I want to continue experiencing Rome like a local and plan to have pizza and gelato instead of turkey and apple pie. 

But for some of my friends, this isn't their style. They want an American Thanksgiving, and IES Abroad is providing them with just that! IES Abroad is putting on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner open to any student or intern who wants to attend. This will be a great way to hopefully help with some homesickness for my friends and bring a slice of home to Rome. I’m so glad this is an option and I think a lot of people will take advantage of it. 

I’m thankful for IES Abroad and I’m thankful for Rome. 

Even though I’m missing Thanksgiving with my family, I will be back home for Christmas, and we can celebrate twice as much then. 

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day!

Ciao for Now! 

Andy Jacobs =) 

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Andy Jacobs

My name is Andrianna Jacobs, but everyone calls me Andy. I am from Rochester, MN and I was a pole vaulter and Captian for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Women's Track and Field Team. I am passionate about making people smile, helping make a difference in the world, and understanding new cultures. I'm excited to be in Rome and ready to make the most of all my opportunities!

2022 Fall
Home University:
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Rochester, MN
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