Overcoming homesickness and culture shock

Read our tips about what you can do if you’re missing home or struggling to adjust to life at Sussex.

Keep in touch with friends and family

If you’re feeling lonely, keep in regular contact with friends or family. A familiar voice can feel comforting and really help you.

Meet new people

Life at Sussex offers endless opportunities to meet new friends.

You can:

You can also get involved with the Students’ Union, which runs fairs and events.

Speak to someone

You can go to the Student Life Centre for more support.

Our chaplaincy offers support and advice to students of all faiths or none.

Culture shock

If you’re moving from another country you may need time to adjust to new surroundings.

Culture shock describes the feeling many people experience when they move to a country with a different culture.

Even if you’re from a country similar to the UK, you can experience culture shock.

While culture shock is more likely to occur soon after arrival, it can happen at any time.

You may feel overwhelmed. Things you found exciting at first may seem strange or frightening.

You could experience:

  • sudden mood changes and strong reactions
  • feeling lost
  • disorientation
  • irritation and resentment
  • a wish to be back at home.

It’s important to understand these reactions are normal and they will pass. Give yourself time to adapt.

If you experience culture shock, try:

  • taking advantage of the social events during Welcome Week – these are a great way to meet other people and settle in
  • integrating with students of all nationalities, including British students, as this might help you adjust
  • joining the Buddy Scheme, where you can meet other Sussex students
  • staying in regular contact with your family and friends back home
  • joining a society or club to meet like-minded people with similar interests
  • cooking food that reminds you of home – there are many international and specialist food shops in Brighton.

See our guide to living in the UK for help settling in.

Talking to someone about culture shock

You can speak to:

See more from Settling in