Moving to a new country can be difficult at first due to the
unfamiliar surroundings and culture. In addition being far from family
and friends can be challenging and many Erasmus students can suffer from
‘homesickness’ and ‘culture shock’.

What is ‘Culture Shock’?

Culture shock is a difficulty in adjusting to life in a new country manifesting in a feeling of being overwhelmed and anxious whilst staying in a foreign country.

What is ‘Homesickness’?

Homesickness is a deep feeling of missing home, the loved ones and the comforts of your own country. 

Symptoms of the above include:

  • Feeling depressed, sad and lonely

  • Reluctance to get involved in social aspects of university life

  • Headaches, pains, feeling tired all the time

  • Sleeping too much

  • Feelings of anger, confusion, vulnerability or shyness

  • Questioning your decision to move to the new country

  • Idealising your own culture

If you are having trouble with adapting to life in England, please
read through this leaflet, which will give you some tips and advice on
how you can adjust to life in Southampton.

Adapting to Life in a New Country

  • Firstly, explore your new culture and surroundings by taking walks
    around the campus, city and local parks. You can find out more about
    Southampton if you visit this website

  • Explore how you can find out more about the history,
    traditions and lifestyle in England. Talking to people (students and
    fellow house mates) can usually help you to understand more about
    England’s culture and society. 

  • Get involved in the university life by joining societies and clubs. It
    will help you to meet fellow students and integrate you into the student
    community. The following websites below provides a list of all the
    societies and clubs students can join: University of Southampton student clubs and societiesUniversity of Southampton's Students' Union 

  • Come along to the events and trips organised by the Erasmus society. It will help you feel at home by finding out  which places are the best to go out to. You will also have the opportunity to meet fellow Erasmus students that are in a similar situation.

  • Try not to be shy. Practice speaking in English with local people,
    students and lecturers. It will improve your language competence, which then will help you to integrate with the society by boosting your confidence and developing your communication skills.

  • Get involved and be active. Most of you will only have one
    opportunity to be an Erasmus student, so try to make the most of your
    experience and don’t be scared of trying new things.

Finally, if anyone notices anyone who is suffering from the
above symptoms, please try and help them integrate into Southampton life by talking to them, inviting them out and introducing them to your


Adjusting to a new country and culture takes time. It is important to
be patient and open to new experiences and different people from
various backgrounds and cultures.

Feel free to contact the Erasmus Society’s Welfare Coordinator if you
are having real difficulty with settling down. You can email: Please title your email as ‘Welfare’