Feeling lonely, isolated or homesick? You can get support.

Published on December 15, 2021 |Last updated on January 19, 2022

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Many post-secondary students share feelings of loneliness, isolation and homesickness from time to time. If you’re an international student who’s new to Canada, these feelings may be even more intense. Here, Good2Talk shares ways young adults can get support if they’re feeling lonely throughout the school year (and especially during weekends and holidays when being away from home can be really tough).

Why might I be feeling this way?

Navigating post-secondary education can be challenging (and rewarding!). Everyone is going through changes to their daily lives, and that can feel super overwhelming. For example, you may be experiencing struggles with things like:

  • dating
  • family 
  • finances
  • friends
  • grades
  • housing
  • identity
  • well-being

International students may also face things like:

  • culture shock
  • discrimination
  • language barriers
  • stress from adapting to a new culture

What are some supports I can try?

Feeling lonely on occasion during post-secondary school is something that resonates with many students (you’re definitely not alone!). It can take time to adjust and feel like you belong. Finding a sense of community can be empowering and can help us all feel more connected and included. Here are some ideas to help get you started. (We encourage you to use the ones that fit best / are safest for you.)

  • Connect with your Resident Advisor (if you live on campus) and ask if they have any tips / ideas for socializing, activities, etc. that may be beneficial to you
  • Contact Academic Advising Services, Career Services or Financial Services at your school for support with your courses, job search and / or budget
  • Drop by your school’s Student Centre, Student Association or website for opportunities to get involved / get support on campus (e.g. school clubs, hobby groups, health and wellness programs, athletics, etc.)
  • Visit a local Community Centre, Recreation Centre, International Student Centre or Cultural Centre for events or activities you’d like to participate in (e.g. community meals, holiday celebrations, sports teams, etc.)
  • Check out newcomer settlement services websites like Immigration Advising Canada to get help with immigration processes, work visas, study permits, etc.
  • Explore programs, workshops, tutors, peer mentors or classes that are available for newcomers and their families on topics they’d like to learn more about (e.g. English as a Second Language (ESL) / French as a Second Language (FSL) courses, setting up a bank account, applying for a health card, legal info sessions, etc.)
  • Join youth in Canada on our partner service, the Peer-to-Peer Community at Kids Help Phone, to share your experiences (and interact with other young adults) on support forums
  • Locate nearby places of worship that seem like a good space to nurture your spirituality
  • Schedule a time to chat with family / friends using the technology that’s available to you (because we all need a chance to catch up with our favourite people!)
  • Reach out to a local foodbank to learn about your options for support with groceries if you need it
  • Visit you school’s library (or a public library) for a quiet space to read, do research or check out what’s happening in the community
  • Try a self-guided resource from our partners at Kids Help Phone like the the Wheel of Well-Being, Breathing Balloon or another virtual tool such as WalkAlong

Feeling lonely, isolated or homesick and searching for more ways to get wellness support, or just someone to talk to? You can reach out to one of our professional counsellors or volunteer crisis responders 24/7. We’re Good2Talk whenever you need us!

Contact us 24/7.
We’re Good2Talk whenever you need us!

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