Homesickness Among International College Students: The Impact of Social Embeddedness and Connection to Home
The number of students choosing to attend a university outside of their home country is continually growing. Although studying abroad may be an exciting transition for international students, with cultural relocation comes elevated psychological distress. Such distress occurs due to cultural variations, which may increase levels of homesickness among international students. As such, this study aims to investigate two major factors influencing homesickness among international students: social embeddedness and connection to home. This study provides an introduction including background information on homesickness and its negative effects. Secondary research outlines the psychological impact of greater connectedness to home, and low levels of social embeddedness experienced by international students. These findings developed a survey and analysis of measurable scales of connection to home, social embeddedness, and homesickness. The final conclusion indicates that there is an inverse relationship between homesickness and social embeddedness. Meaning, as students become more acculturated to their host country, their level of homesickness decreases. Additionally, connection to home is positively correlated with levels of homesickness. From this study, health care professionals and homesickness prevention programs are given relevant findings, encouraging them to focus more of their services on providing social support for international college students that will alleviate the emotional toll that homesickness may bring.