Let’s be honest. It wasn’t all fun and games here. There was no escaping of that what I feared most: homesickness. I think most of us will get it to some extend when going away. And it also got me a few times.
I can't say it was always easy and there have definitely been a few times where I wanted to take the first plane home. Missing out on ‘Carnaval’ was the hardest for me; I had arrived in Melbourne only a few weeks before and seeing all those pictures of my families and friends having their little reunions whilst celebrating the best party of the year, was just a bit too hard for me.
With that, I did not enjoy the house I was staying in (which is an understatement), but I won’t go into those details. Unfortunately, I was tied down with a contract and losing my $540 bond wasn’t worth moving, because the location was quite nice.
But like the quote in the tea room at MCRI says: “a smooth sea doesn't make a skilled sailor”. I learned so much from these moments. I couldn't really do anything about my homesickness, but I learned how to handle it. I would either Skype with someone from home (time zone dependent) or went out to do something with someone.
I tried to plan as much activities in the weekends as possible, so I wouldn’t have to spend time in my house. I also got myself a side job at MCRI, so I spent quite some evenings and weekends on recruitment of study participants. I really enjoyed my internship (and thus my side job) and my colleagues were the best people I met here. So those were the best ways to prevent homesickness. And what I learned most of all – homesickness always goes away and it made me enjoy my life in Melbourne even more.