China is a fantastic place for international students to study abroad. Not only that its people are welcoming, and accommodating, they are also kind and fun to be with but can be as shy as a turtle hiding within its shell. However, if you are from an English speaking country, you will have some challenges and some language barrier. What begins as an epic adventure can turn into an emotional roller coaster homesickness sets in, affecting you throughout your study especially if you lack conversational Chinese. Here are some ways you can avoid homesickness as an international student in China.
- Stay connected with family
Chinese government has placed ban on some social media apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, all google apps etc that you are very much familiar with. However, the Chinese people have their own version of every of this apps. WeChat is a wildly popular known chat and video app that you can use in China to connect with your loved ones at home (and your new friends!). All you need to do is inform your families and friends to install the app on the mobile or computer and you will be able to stay in touch with your loved ones. Keeping in touch with your family will make you feel that you are part of things back home.
- Watch your favorite activities online
International students in China most feel homesick primarily due to the language barriers thereby reducing the numbers of friends they can mingle with since virtually Chinese preferred to speak their native language to other languages. While you are at your dormitory, there are several activities you can stream online and have fun. If you are want to watch your home country TV shows, movies and original content, Hulu is an Internet site that provides watching genuine TV shows. The name was coined from Chinese word “gourd”. However, there are various ways to stream Hulu online if you want to watch Hulu movies and Hulu TV shows with the best speeds, in HD. Being aware of this makes you network free from ISP throttling and allow you browse the Internet privately and securely.
- Try out Chinese dishes
There are many restaurants, canteens and street foods in China and it’s almost impossible to get starved. The foods are widely available and can be brought to your doorsteps. There are various food delivery apps you can use to order for food and all you need to do is download the apps, such as Ele.me (which means hungry in Chinese!). It is one of the popular Chinese food delivery services and it is backed by China’s largest e-commerce operator Alibaba Group Holding.
- Make new friends
Get yourself involved in activities that can help you meet new friends. This might be very difficult in at first especially if you are surrounded by Chinese people. However, try to take the advantage to yourself and learn the language from them in exchange to teach them how to speak and communicate in English. By doing this, they will easily want to be around you.
Ensure you be yourself and be tolerant of others. Remember that culture shock is something you can get over.