As we move further into 2023, we are witnessing a steady increase in the number of students from various countries choosing to seek higher education abroad. While these young learners often arrive full of enthusiasm and adventure, quickly realizing they must navigate a foreign environment that differs significantly from where they grew up – including new customs, languages, cuisines, and the absence of loved ones and familiar surroundings – one of the most significant difficulties they must adapt to is leaving loved ones behind and facing unfamiliar terrain alone.
Homesickness can be defined as the longing for things familiar and familiar with an uncomfortable sense of disorientation that often manifests through anxiety, melancholy, and even loneliness. According to research by the American Psychological Association, an estimated 69% of international students reported feeling homesick during their first academic year away from home, yet often goes untreated, which can have educational and overall detrimental effects.
Co-living apartments play an essential role in alleviating homesickness
Co-living spaces offer an appealing solution for anyone in this situation; co living apartments foster a sense of community and friendship, encouraging an atmosphere conducive to exchanging emotional support and experiences with one another. According to one University of California study, students who occupy communal living spaces reported feeling homesick less frequently than those residing in standard accommodations.
Fostering community connections
Co-living flats strive to foster community among their inhabitants through regular social events such as movie nights, game evenings, and group dinners, all designed to encourage resident interactions. These activities are designed to facilitate resident interactions and serve as opportunities to make new friends that may provide support when times get challenging.
Co-living apartments help international students combat homesickness in many subtle yet effective ways, one being by providing them with a space where residents may share and celebrate their various cultural backgrounds. It’s not unusual to find students preparing traditional dishes from their native country or instructing fellow students in dance routines that reflect these cultural roots – creating an environment reminiscent of home and easing feelings of homesickness.
Utilizing technology for connectivity
Students studying abroad today will find it much simpler to keep in contact with friends and family back in their home countries thanks to technology’s advancement. Most co-living apartments now have high-speed internet access and communal rooms featuring wide screens that enable residents to hold virtual hangouts and stay in contact with family back home. A spokesperson from one popular co-living facility noted: “We aim to make distance less daunting for our residents,” and stated that their residents were their top priority.
Learning resilience and independence
Co-living apartments provide residents with support and a sense of community while encouraging individual development and independence. Students gain the skills needed to adjust to new circumstances quickly while becoming more resilient through exposure to new experiences, which will serve them well in later years. According to one study published in the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, shared areas led to higher adaptation levels and resident independence scores.
Engaging and remaining active is vital for living a full and engaging life
Studies have shown that engaging in hobbies and active pursuits can help ease feelings of homesickness. Students are advised to live healthy lifestyles using all the amenities provided in shared housing communities, such as fitness centers, game rooms, and even artist studios. Physical activity and engaging in creative pursuits have been proven to decrease feelings of homesickness while away from home significantly. A paper published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health demonstrated this point.
Role of mental health support
Co-living flats that recognize the significance of maintaining good mental health for their residents often collaborate with local healthcare practitioners to offer mental health support services for residents. A representative from one sizeable co-living space said, “We understand the significance of holistic well-being and provide professional assistance for students who may be struggling. Our proactive approach toward mental health helps students adjust quickly to new environments.” This proactive approach to mental health helps reduce homesickness, which hurts academic performance.
Adaptability to various living arrangements
Co-living flats are designed with flexibility, understanding that not all students have identical living arrangements preferences during college. Therefore, co-living apartments offer various living arrangements, including shared and private rooms to meet different student preferences – helping the adjustment period lessened upon arriving in a foreign nation.
Establish an environment of inclusion
In shared living quarters, inclusiveness is at the core of what they do. Their staff work to foster an environment in which all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, or culture, are made to feel valued and welcome – encouraging open expression from students while lessening feelings of isolation among residents.
Role of academic institutions
Alongside shared living spaces, many educational institutions have launched student support programs to assist international students better. Universities play an essential role in helping international students overcome homesickness through initiatives like hosting multicultural events and providing foreign student offices that offer help from visa processing to academic support.
The importance of familiarity
Anything that reminds students of home can be comforting when entering an unfamiliar environment. Common areas in co-living flats often aim to recreate familiar experiences from home by offering living rooms modeled on those found in traditional families or kitchens equipped to serve an array of cuisines from around the globe. These seemingly minor details can have a tremendously positive effect on international students by providing the impression that their living situation feels more like their own than living somewhere new altogether.
As co-living apartments continue to increase, they give international students suffering from homesickness a ray of hope. Student life overseas has been profoundly altered by establishing spaces that facilitate the formation of supportive communities and foster cultural exchange and personal development.