Homesickness And Adjustment In University Students

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Concept to which it relates: The transition of young adults from high school to college or university can be an exciting process as well as a difficult one as many students experience severe homesickness. Homesickness is a distress caused by being separated from home. Sufferers generally report anxiety, depression and a withdrawn behavior. Student enrolled far from their respective homes tend to experience homesickness for the first few months especially when things are not settling to their control. Normally, these students are used to be not far from their homes for long, and the biggest difficulty comes when they have to be independent for the first time knowing that for most problems they faced before, parents or guardians where around to assist. Homesickness further leads to loneliness for student who are not interactive.

Purpose of the review: This review serves as a means to educated persons as to the adverse effects’ homesickness can have on students. The review can lead to programs being implemented to assist homesick students.

Summary & Discussion

The key points in this article include:

The cognitive and emotional consequences of homesickness can be worsened by acculturation stress.

This stress is caused by the mental and emotional challenges of adapting to a new culture. Sometimes this stress is significant, such as when an individual is forced to relocate to a country whose values, beliefs and behaviors are different from that which they are accustomed to. Students may have little or no experience being away from home.

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Homesickness may negatively affect students’ ability to adjust to their new social environment.

Students that become homesick upon entering college may have difficulty adjusting to the college setting, leading to social and academic difficulties. Homesickness has been linked to certain social factors, such as social anxiety and social support, as well as levels of belonging. However, homesickness has typically been a factor for later social problems. When examining these potential social effects, it may be important to distinguish between relationships with people at home versus people in the new environment. Fewer positive interactions with peers and not fitting in may lead homesick students to seek contact and support from family and friends at home, strengthening these outside relationships but interfering with the development of new relationships.

The potential for homesickness to also interfere with academics is noteworthy given the important long-term consequences.

Homesickness can lead to absent-mindedness and reduce students’ academic abilities. It can also lead to students not being able to concentrate as they may feel out of place. Lower concentration abilities can create an urge for students wanting to dropout and go back home to the place they feel more comfortable. Homesickness and its effects on academic capabilities have long term consequences; students not being able to complete the graduation exercise as they may have skipped or failed to complete courses.


These main points can be applied to present situations where many students of Utech are from other cultures and relocating to the environment may cause a hackle for them as there may be no other student that share the same cultures with them. If they are not brave enough to form new friendships with other students, they may find refuge in calling home for comfort. This can be used as a coping mechanism for these students. Long term effects can lead to students deciding they are not comfortable at the university and dropping out before completing courses.

Personal Assessment

These salient points are valid as I can relate to having the constant need to contact persons at home instead of leaving my comfort zone and making new friends. At times I may feel I have a different mindset from those I do come in contact with and that may lead to both of us being uncomfortable. Homesickness can also affect my academic grades as the environment is new and I have to adjust myself to independence. I agree with the author to the extent that homesick students may feel as if they do that fit in and distance themselves from others. First year students face social challenges, homesickness and most noticeable academic challenges within their first months in university. These challenges are caused by not being prepared well enough to face such big adjustment of moving from home environment to university life. The effects caused by these challenges are reflected to students’ academic performance dropping below their initial expectations. From this article, I’ve learned prevention strategies such as to include fun activities, orientations and participation in social activities which improve their network of friends and give them extra skills that they might require in future. More comfortable and interactive orientation may help the student to form new bonds with his/her surroundings and have greater network of new connections of friends so that he/she can avoid loneliness.


  1. Thurber CA. The phenomenology of homesickness in boys. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. 1999;27(2):125–139.
  2. Thurber CA, Walton EA. Preventing and treating homesickness. Pediatrics. 2007;119:192–201.
  3. Thurber CA, Walton EA. Homesickness and adjustment in university students. Journal of American College Health. 2012;60:415–419.

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Homesickness And Adjustment In University Students. (2022, February 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 6, 2022, from
“Homesickness And Adjustment In University Students.” Edubirdie, 18 Feb. 2022,
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Homesickness And Adjustment In University Students [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 18 [cited 2022 Jul 6]. Available from:
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