I thought I would take this week to talk about home sickness. This is unique to the person and can manifest itself in different ways. However, this is also a common thing to occur when students study abroad, especially in a culture that is different from their own. For this blog, I thought I would talk about my home sickness and the ways I tried to overcome it.
Having a lot of knowledge of the Korean culture as well as an understand that different people do things in a different way, I have not experience culture shock during my time here at Hallym thus far. However, home sickness is something I have experienced. Whether it is something small like wanting foods that I could have back home or something big like missing my family, I had to learn how to adjust in order to not let my home sickness effect my mood while I am in Korea.
When it came to the desire of small snacks or something simple like granola, I simply had to accept that I would not find exactly what I am looking for and settle for options they have here in Korea. Which can be very good most of the times. When it comes to food, there are many options for cooking here in Korea as the dorms have kitchens for the students to use. There are also international shipping options from Amazon and other companies such as iHerb if necessary.
My major form of home sickness came from missing my family. I am very close to my family and not being with them, especially at times when I was extremely overwhelmed or anxious, could be really difficult at times. Some things I did in overcome this is to talk to the people I have here in Korea. Living in an international dorm here at Hallym, I can always find someone who understands what I am going through. Other times, I just distract myself with discovering something new about Korea or going out with friends to eat good food. Hallym University is very good about having a lot of resources for their international students. Any international student may talk to the office for international students at the International Hall if they need any support or just want to talk out how they are feeling. Furthermore, if you live in the International Hall here at Hallym University, there is both supervisors and a teacher which offer their support if you need it.
While it is suggested you do not call home at the first sign of a struggle and try to work through some of your conflict with the resources in country, I believe that it is all right to call the people back home when you miss them occasionally and if you really need their support at the moment. I think the key to what both USF states and other exchange students say is to not overdue the contact. Do not call them every time you miss them and the moment that you miss them. If you can solve the situation yourself, wait it out, or solve it with the resources you have in your foreign country, attempt to do so instead of immediately turning to the things back home to solve your problems.
Now, I am not trying to discourage communication with your family and friends back home. I just discourage focusing a lot of time on the people and things back home that you forget to enjoy the things in the country you are studying in and exploring. Overall, this is my experience with home sickness and I hope it can help guide others to things they can do to overcome this issue.