Homesickness – Going home? Or not?

By: Caroline Elaine

It is very normal to feel homesick after being away from home for quite a long time. We miss our parents’ home-cooked meals, our never-ending quarrels with our siblings, our childhood best friends, the celebrations with our large families and friends, the happiness, the bickering, and the feeling of being at home. And here we are, in a new place and environment, trying to adapt and make new friends while also pursuing our education, goals, and dreams. 

If you live in or near Newcastle, you are lucky! It is easier for you to go back home or for your parents to visit you. However, if you are an international student like me, who spends a day or two traveling by plane to get to Newcastle, going back home is complicated, especially during the pandemic because the rules for traveling to the UK and our home country are constantly changing. 

If you are not returning home, remember to call your family frequently and spend time bonding with them. But if you aren’t going back, here are some ideas you can do if you aren’t going home for the holidays and some things you should do if you are.  

Find a part-time job  

Working a part-time job during the holidays or applying for summer internships are good ways to keep yourself busy if you don’t have anything planned. Not only you can get some extra pocket money, but it is also a fantastic way to get some work experience, new skills, and boost your CV. This is why I always apply for jobs because I enjoy being busy because I don’t know what to do with too much free time, so why not work? 

You can work either in or out of the university, or both. Stores usually put a notice in front of their door or windows whether they need part-time or full-time workers. If you are interested in working with them, just go inside the stores and ask the staff about the work opportunities. Ask about what they expect you to do, how many hours per week you need to work, the salary, and so on. And after knowing what you want to know about the job, and you want to try applying for the job, ask them how you should apply, do they need a CV/resume, or anything else? Send your application and Goodluck! 

Or do you want to find a job at the university? Newcastle University also offers a career service to all students. This service assists you in improving your CV and finding work opportunities both inside and outside of the university, and many other things as well. Check out their page at or access it via MyCareer ( ) With your student account.  

Travel around the UK!  

Since you are not traveling back home why not travel around the UK. Invite your friends to join you on the trip too to make it more memorable. You can go on a day trip to a city near Newcastle, like Edinburgh, York, Leeds, etc. Visit the city in the morning, then stroll around the city, and come back at night!  

There are some advantages if you are only going for the day. First, don’t need to find accommodation which means you can spend that fee on other activities, like shopping. Next, getting a night of really good sleep. Imagine getting up so early to catch a train, touring the entire city until late at night, and then returning to Newcastle. You’ll be exhausted. You will be unable to think of anything other than lying in your bed and falling asleep. Take a lot of photos during the trip, the place, the food, the streets, keep as many memories as possible which you can tell your family when you are back home! 

Inform your accommodation staff of your absence 

It is important that you notify your accommodation staff if you intend to leave for an extended period of time, whether to travel around the UK or return to your home country. So, your accommodation staff will be aware that they must notify you if anything happens to your accommodation building or room. 

Before you leave your room, remember to unplug all your electrical devices, such as the kettle, rice cooker, coffee machine, charging ports, heater, and so on. Also, remember to keep important documents, such as your passport and valuables, in a safe place if you are not taking them with you.  

Keep up to date 

Traveling during a pandemic can be difficult because the rules of traveling are constantly changing due to the situation. Therefore, keep up to date on these regulations, both from the UK and from your home country.

To know about the regulations to travel to and from the UK, you can look at them from the government website, (for travel abroad from England) and (For travel to England from abroad).  

Remember to also check the regulations for your home country!  

That’s all I have to say; hopefully, these suggestions will give you some ideas for what to do during the break if you’re not going home and what you should do before you leave if you’re traveling.

It is never easy to be away from our families, but this is one of the stages of adulthood that you must go through. To learn to be independent and mature.

See you next time!

Students who live far from their families, tell us your stories in the comment sections below!

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