Moving to a new city and sometimes even a new country can be very exciting but adapting to a new environment can also be difficult. It’s perfectly normal to miss familiar surroundings but there are things you can do to help you through this time.

Starting or returning to your life in Leeds can be very exciting but might also come with some challenge. It’s perfectly normal to miss familiar surroundings and struggle to adapt to new ones. Whether you’re from somewhere else in the UK or from a different country, experiencing ‘culture shock’ is the natural result of being in an unfamiliar environment. 

Be kind to yourself

For most people, feelings such as homesickness or culture shock are temporary, and after a short time many settle down and enjoy their time away from home. However it can be a difficult time, and it's important to know steps you can take to help yourself, connect with others, and where to go for support. Things will improve as Leeds becomes more and more familiar to you, but until then there are things you can do to help yourself during this time of transition: 

Look after yourself

Exercising, eating and sleeping well is extremely important for your physical and mental wellbeing. Find out more about how you can support healthy habits while in Leeds.

Try and create a work/life balance. It's important to study, but an evening out with new friends, a trip into town or to the countryside, or just watching a film can be good to look forward to.

Keep connecting with family and friends

Keep in touch with family and friends back home – whether it’s a phone call, an email or a WhatsApp or Wechat message, contacting loved one can help you feel more involved with life at home and can help you feel less homesick. 

Surround yourself with objects that have personal meaning to you – like photographs in an album or on your phone or keepsakes from home. Whatever your comfort things are, make sure you bring them to university with you. 

Keep busy

Planning your days and establishing a routine that works for you won't leave you much time to feel homesick.

Join trips, get out of the house, join one of the many events in the Leeds University Union. There are so many opportunities to meet people and get involved at the University, all you need to do is go and have a look for yourself.

Homesickness has often to do with being in unfamiliar surroundings – take some time to explore the city of Leeds and the Yorkshire region to help you feel more at home.

Build new connections

Whether you’re new, have returned to University after a break or simply want to get involved in something different, apply for the Buddy Scheme. The Buddy Scheme will match you with another Leeds student, at the same study level and similar interests to you. The scheme is a wonderful way to meet someone you wouldn’t otherwise meet.

Sometimes all it takes to feel a little better is sharing how you feel with someone who might be going through something similar. Global Café is for everyone from everywhere. Come and meet other students, join in conversations and enjoy free biscuits and hot drinks.

There are other ways to meet people and get involved. Make the most of all opportunities Leeds has to offer. 

Speak to us

If you want to speak to someone, contact our friendly colleagues in the Student Information Service. They can put you in touch with the right people if you need more specialist support or advice.

Call us

Our Helpline Team are on hand Monday to Friday 9-5 pm.

  • Call +44 (0)113 343 7000 (from outside of the UK)
  • Call 0800 915 0402 (from inside the UK. This is a free phone number, and you won’t be charged for calling this from your mobile or landline).

Email us

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Speak to us, face to face

Our Information Points are open from 10 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday.