You vs. Culture Shock & Homesickness



KalinaEditor’s note: Kalina is a former AYP student from Poland who lived with a host family in Waukesha, Wisconsin, last year. She wanted to offer some advice to students based on her experiences during her exchange year. This is the third in a series of three posts Kalina wrote for us. Read her first post here and second post here. Kalina also has her own blog, so check it out!

By Kalina from Poland

The first part of your stay is all honeymoon. You are loving it there, you love America, and everything is so great. Well, that’s not going to last forever, because once you get into a routine and things stop being as exciting as they were, you’re probably going to start missing home.

There will be times when you don’t feel like being where you are, and all you want to do is just go back to your old life. It is different for every exchange student. It is hard to be away from your family, your friends, away from everything familiar. However, the exchange is so worth it. You are strong, brave, and courageous for taking this opportunity to go on such an adventure!


The benefits are countless, you’re going to have a whole new life in just one year, you’re going to have friends from all over the world, your English is going to get so much better, and most importantly, you’re going to broaden your horizons and enrich your personality. The sacrifice of being away from your family is worth it, and you’re going to see how fast time flies by. I can’t believe my year abroad is already over and I miss it so much.

Poland USA
  • I advise you to stay busy, so you don’t have time to think about how much you miss your family.
  • Avoid talking to your family and friends back home too much. It only makes you miss them more.
  • Avoid too much technology in the first place.

Live your life in the moment, right where you are, and make the most of it!