Conducting a work placement as part of your studies at Aston can be a life-changing opportunity to gain invaluable work and life experience. However, for many, it is also a chance to live and work in a new city, or even a different country! Of course, with this, comes a degree of homesickness; this is bound to impact some people more than others and is certainly a challenge to overcome.
Having lived at home with my parents during my years at Aston; taking a placement opportunity in London was equally daunting and exciting. I had the opportunity to explore one of the world’s most vibrant and fascinating cities and had an abundance of experiences at my fingertips. However, with all of my family based in Walsall (just North of Birmingham), I felt detached from everyone I cared about and worried that my closest personal relationships would become strained.
Thankfully, there are multiple methods to overcome homesickness, I used many of these while on placement:
- Get involved!
Take an active part in your workplace community. Make friends with other interns and colleagues. Staying busy will make the time fly.
- Video call, not voice call:
When calling home, (if you are able) use a video call so you can see each other while calling. It can make all the difference and stop you from feeling a barrier from home.
- Use all allotted holiday allowance:
This might seem ridiculous, but while I was on placement, I was reminded multiple times to use my holiday allowance as many placement students simply forget. And since your contract will likely be a single year; when they’re gone, they’re gone!
- Get organised:
Have a separate calendar or planning tool for your private life. Plan in advance when you will be seeing family and friends and when they will be coming to visit.
Using some of these techniques could help you get the best out of your placement by ensuring homesickness does not limit your ability to thrive. If you are seriously struggling, make sure to reach out to your employer or the relevant points of contact at Aston for support!
Blog by Jordan Smith