Deciding to do a master’s degree abroad is an incredible adventure that comes with its fair share of excitement and anxiety. You’re not just pursuing higher education; you’re immersing yourself in a new culture, meeting people from diverse backgrounds, and expanding your horizons in ways you never thought possible.

One day you’ll wake up and you’ll be on the other side of the world, away from your family, your friends, and the routine you grew up in. Suddenly you’ll be starting a new life filled with adventure, and new challenges, and the only way to share that with the most important people in your life will be through a screen. That is one of the hardest things for me. I see their eyes fill with pride when I tell them about my day at school or when I share all my excitement from living in such a beautiful city as Uppsala. But let’s keep it real—being away, especially on those Sunday blues, can hit you hard. Can you tell I’m writing this on a Sunday?

So here are some of my personal tips for dealing with this:

  • Staying busy: Focusing on your studies and occupying yourself with coursework and extracurricular activities can help to distract yourself. And! It not only enhances your learning experience but also allows you to make the most of your time abroad.
  • Maintaining a healthy work-life balance
  • Finding new hobbies: Exploring new interests and hobbies can be a great way to meet people. Whether it’s joining a sports club, art class, or exploring a nation, these activities can provide a sense of belonging.
  • Cultivate a support system in your new environment: Building a network of friends, both international and local, can be immensely comforting. Seek out student organizations, attend social events, and engage with your fellow students. They understand what you’re going through.
  • Treating yourself! Self-care is non-negotiable!! Take time for yourself to recharge and reflect. Explore your new surroundings, try local cuisine, go grab some fika, go for a mental health walk, or maybe take some time off just to catch up on that show you’ve been wanting to watch. Do whatever brings you peace and comfort, you deserve to rest! You’re doing a great job!
  • And most importantly, reminding yourself of your purpose. Every challenge you overcome brings you one step closer to achieving those goals.

Embrace the adventure, keep your loved ones close, and always believe that you’ve got what it takes to conquer the challenges of this incredible journey. You’re on a journey of self-discovery, personal growth, and academic badassery, and despite those homesick vibes, you’re stronger than you know.