Health and Wellbeing

Feeling lonely or homesick

Almost everyone experiences feelings of homesickness at some point after going to University. These feelings are completely natural and to be expected, and they usually don’t last for long.

Some people are better at dealing with feeling homesick than others, and some people never admit that they feel that way at all, but almost everyone will have these feelings when leaving home. International students also have to adapt to a different culture and can experience culture shock.

However, there can be a positive side to moving away to university – as students gain independence and confidence as they adapt to a new life, relationships with family members can improve and mature.

Different people experience homesickness in different ways. Some students can have feelings of tearfulness and isolation or might try to escape these feelings by drinking too much.

These feelings usually pass quickly, but for some people they can last longer. If you are finding it difficult to adjust to university life then go and talk to a Student Life Advisor or a Counsellor from Psychological and Counselling Services, who can give you guidance on coping strategies.

If you live in Univeristy-managed accommodation

Students in University-managed accommodation can speak to Campus and Residential Support (CRS) regarding their welfare issues. CRS offer 24/7 welfare support, and staff a desk in York House 10am to 10pm weekdays. For out-of-hours emergency welfare support, contact Security on 01273 87 3333 to access this service.

If you live in private accommodation

If you’re living in the private sector and need out-of-hours emergency welfare support please phone JAM, our out-of-hours call-back service, on (+44) (0)2089  383873. JAM will give guidance over-the phone and will also contact the Residential Community Coordinator (RCC) on duty who will return your call within the hour. The RCC will offer over-the-phone welfare support and advice, along with signposting for additional available support.

NOTE: Calls are charged at your local standard mobile / landline rate.

Settling In

Read the Student Life Centre's pages on settling in to university life

Getting Involved

  • Join a society that you’re really interested in: USSU Societies
  • The Students' Union's Buddy Scheme is a peer to peer support scheme that helps students settle in to life at the University of Sussex: Buddy Scheme
  • Sport and exercise is a great way to get involved and meet people: Sport in the Student Union | Sussexsport
  • Volunteering is a fantastic way of both getting involved in the Sussex community, doing something worthwhile and adding something useful to your C.V: Volunteering with the USSU

Other useful information

These sites have some very useful advice on homesickness and adjusting to university life: