Rachel Goh - “Coping with homesickness”


Rachel Goh

Rachel has travelled from Singapore to study Psychology at the University of Otago. She is often seen running around campus juggling various commitments. 

Take a trip

Sometimes the best way to get your mind off your homesickness is to have something exciting and new to look forward to. So if you have some extra cash to spare, why not travel to somewhere new and exciting? After all, you are only present in New Zealand for at least 3-4 years and it is a big country with pretty amazing sights.


My favourite places to go are Queenstown, Wellington, and Abel Tasman. There are so many activities to do (bungee jumping! Kayaking!) and stunning views to marvel at to take your mind off things. Better yet, make it a road trip with some friends and you will have an awesome time. (I will be writing about some of my travels in the next blog so wait for it.)


 Find something you are passionate in

I know we are here to study and attain that degree but I am a firm believer in a solid work-life balance. I reckon having a hobby or something fun to do will keep you sane during your academic year. It could be trying out food at every café, playing World of Warcraft, or volunteering. For me, it was working at International or exercising that really helped me through moments of homesickness and boredom.


It took my mind off things and it helped time pass by quicker. But as my mum would say, your first priority is your studies. Having a break now and then is good, but do not forget what your main purpose is too.


So these are my 5 coping mechanisms for homesickness. Guaranteed it may or may not work for anyone but I hope it gives you a clearer insight into what you could do. However, if you feel like you are unable to cope with homesickness, please know that it is okay to ask for help. Services like Student Health at Otago, the Chaplain and his team, the International Office, and OUSA Student Support Centre are more than happy to talk through things with you and provide support. Here is a pretty good resource done by the Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy Team if you need more information. Till next time!


Photo Credits: Maple Goh, Max Chan, OSC