Email Address:

Phone Number:

Study Abroad Blog

Flight Credit Get a Flight Credit worth up to $1,250 when you apply with code* by May 31, 2023

Overcoming Cycles of Homesickness and Loneliness Abroad

December 12, 2018
by Andrea Vazquez
img_0036 - Copy

There have been many nights when I have stayed awake underneath a heavy blanket of sadness while studying abroad. These nights turned into tired mornings when I did not even want to head into town for lunch. It became a cycle of loneliness; I was too tired to reach out to people around me, then I descended into bouts of sadness and loneliness because I didn’t have anyone to talk to, which only perpetuated my exhaustion. Once I started this cycle, it was hard to escape.

When I first came to France, I never imagined that I would be lonely or sad. I knew I would be homesick, but I could never really imagine the intensity of missing or the cycles of loneliness that homesickness could bring. Homesickness and loneliness, I found, make really good friends, and it’s hard to experience one without the other.

When I first came to France, I knew I would miss home, but I would be surrounded by so many people, new opportunities, delicious food, and awe-inspiring places to discover that I would forget a little bit about home. I did for a while until I browsed Instagram and saw picture after picture of my friends back home. I missed them, I missed the sunlight from my bedroom, I missed my mom’s cooking, I missed not having to think about worrying if I said “Merci” correctly.

The other day, I decided to leave my room. I had spent two days without really doing anything because I was too tired of traveling— what a thought. The historic buildings of all of the cities I had traveled to over the months had begun to blend together. I missed the comfort of home and not having to pack little zip-up bags of toiletries.

I went for a walk and decided to make a game of it by looking for fountains (Aix is known for its many fountains). I missed my friends, but I needed to get out of my shell, out of my comfort zone, to break the cycle of homesickness and loneliness.

That day, I learned that it takes about 21 days to break a habit. I have a little under 21 days left in France. I am currently breaking old habits and breaking old cycles. I keep in contact with my family and friends, but I give myself breaks from social media if homesickness overwhelms me. I have begun to reach out to friends in France and make the most out of every second.

Loneliness and homesickness are close friends, but now that I am acquainted with them abroad, I know they’re not the only friends I can have. I have everyone in my program, all of the wonderful people in my classes, and best of all, I have myself. 

Andrea Vazquez is the Fall 2018 CEA MOJO Blogger in Aix-en-Provence, France, and is currently studying at Soka University of America.
Load more comments
Thank you for the comment! Your comment must be approved first




Receive a $1,250 Flight Credit when you apply by May 31, 2023

Get your flight credit code and access to Passbook in two easy steps. With Passbook, you can track your favorite programs and courses, save flight credits, and watch videos on the destination you're interested in.

Apply Now

Step 1 of 2

Step 2 of 2

*By providing your mobile number, you agree to receive recurring text messages from CEA Study Abroad notifying you of important program deadlines. Message and data rates may apply.

Privacy Policy   |   Mobile Terms   |   Flight Credit Rules

Your flight credit has been added to your Passbook. Apply now or view your Passbook to begin the next step in your journey.