While Off-Campus

For Colby students currently studying abroad, please refer to the academic policies and resources below before contacting the Off-Campus Study Office.


Pre-Departure Handbook

Course Approvals

Required Course Load

Adjustment, Homesickness, and Communication

First, understand that this is absolutely normal and to be expected. Homesickness when you are far away from friends and family and trying to speak a different language can be very real and difficult to deal with. For most students the first two weeks are typically the hardest but it will get easier, especially if you try to focus on adjusting to your new life, making new friends, and staying busy. Remember that you are not alone and don’t hesitate to reach out to someone in your group or the resident director.

Of course, you will keep in touch with home, but too much calling home (and your friends at home) may have negative effects on your experience abroad. Your experience is what you make of it, and if your mind is always thinking of your family and friends in the U.S., you will scarcely have time to absorb your new life in a new country. Try to restrict your calling parents and friends to once or twice a week, rather than every day (or multiple times a day). You can catch up on news by e-mail.

If one of your reasons for being in a new country is to make solid improvement in your language skills, realize that communication technology, and your use of it, may greatly hinder your linguistic progress while abroad. Spending time communicating in English (Skype, Facebook, chats etc..) will reduce your language immersion and will work against your own linguistic progress.

VIDEO: CET Academic Programs staff and alumni share their experiences with homesickness while studying abroad and some tips for dealing with it.