The International Programs Office (IPO) exists to support international students who are studying at the University of St. Francis. The IPO is guided by the Franciscan values of respect, integrity, service and compassion, and works to promote an environment in which students, faculty and staff can become aware of and involved with the global forces, people and perspectives that shape our world. We welcome you, international students!
Courtesy of Noellie Inard ’23 (France), former student assistant in the International Programs Office.
Being homesick is a normal part of being abroad. Whether you miss your family, friends, house, pets, food, or just the feeling of being in a comfortable environment, this is totally normal. At first, you may need to call home a lot and eventually, you’ll see that the more time passes and the less you are going to feel the need to call home. There is no deadline for homesickness, so here is a little list of what you can do to feel better:
Finally, remember that if you really can’t be happy abroad, you can always go home, so try to enjoy it—take in this significant experience and all the opportunities it brings, and don’t worry! We all go through it at some point!
You are basically being thrown into a new environment, a new culture, and maybe even a new education program. This can be very overwhelming. One piece of advice would be to learn about how the education system works in the U.S., how the grading system works, and what you need to do to graduate. Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors, advisors, and even alumni. Get informed on how things work, which classes you need to take (or not), and be proactive in your journey at USF.
Your Social Life
This one relates to homesickness. When it comes to our social lives, we expect a lot when entering university. However, we may not find that perfect group of friends during the first year. Not every person you will meet will appreciate your diversity or respect it. But take time to meet new people—whether it is in your classes, in clubs, at an event. There are many opportunities to talk to and get to know other students. Socializing as an international student can be a little hard, but don’t worry about your accent or how you may come off to people. Just be yourself, and people will appreciate you for it.