Blog Student life Missing home is okay: Albina’s study abroad journey
Albina posing while attending a gathering in the parkAlbina posing while attending a gathering in the park

Missing home is okay: Albina’s study abroad journey

My name is Albina, and I’m from Kazakhstan.

I am studying a Marketing degree at Simmons University in Boston and I want to share my experience of homesickness with you.

A new chapter

Starting a new chapter of your life in a foreign country is never easy. Before coming to the USA, I kept telling myself that I wouldn’t miss home — missing home means that you are not happy where you are, but I will be happy in Boston, so I won’t miss home.

So when I went home for the summer break, I convinced myself that is how it works and every time someone asked me if I missed home, I proudly answered “no”. It was not that I didn’t love my country or people. It was not that I believed that the USA is the best place in the world, but I had a misconception that feeling homesick equals being weak.

I arrived back to the USA in the fall, feeling very excited about the upcoming semester. I was given a single room and I was going to stay in Boston until May. I believed in my self-sufficiency and was living my happy student life, brushing away occasional sad thoughts.

However, once the busy semester came to an end, Winter Break started, and students were able to go home and spend the holidays with their family and friends.

a self portrait of Albina in Boston
Albina posing with a bicycle

Missing home

As students drove away to see their families, I found myself alone in my room. I had plans to celebrate the New Year in New York with my friend, but otherwise I spent my time resting and thinking about life.

During that time, I came across several photos of my friends who were enjoying their time with their families. I realized that I did miss them before but hadn’t admitted it to anyone because I thought missing home would mean that I am weak.

Feeling homesick is normal

An important lesson that this experience taught me is that feeling homesick is very normal and it does not mean you’re weak — it means that you’re loved, cared for and appreciated by those who matter most to you.

Homesickness is a common feeling that many people around the world experience, especially if you’re a student studying thousands of miles away from home.

“Homesickness is a common feeling”

Share this quote

I’m here to tell you that you don’t need to feel ashamed of feeling homesick and you shouldn’t avoid feeling it either. Allow yourself to experience these feelings and if it helps, call your family, and tell them how much you miss them and love them. You will feel better, I promise.

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