It is natural that you might feel homesick at times and as you settle into life at St Andrews; it is a common experience for students, especially when being away from home for the first time. According to the National Union of Students (NUS), while homesickness typically affects 50 to 70% of students during their first few months at university, most students' symptoms fade after their third week.

Here are some tips to help manage feelings of homesickness

  • Allow yourself time to adjust

Missing home is something that affects most students. Experiencing homesickness is not a weakness nor is it something to feel bad or guilty about. In fact, it's an entirely understandable response to a significant life change. Acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself be homesick for a bit, especially while you adjust to University life. Taking care of your wellbeing can be especially helpful at this time.

Take some time to look after the basics. Eating well, exercising, getting outside and getting the right amount of sleep at the right time can all have a positive impact on your wellbeing and mood.

  • Make yourself at home

Decorating/ personalising your space can be helpful in easing homesickness. It can also help to make your space feel more like a homely, rather than somewhere you feel trapped and isolated. If your landlord allows it, you could put up posters and pictures and add some soft furnishings. Bring some of your favourite things from home if you can, anything that can make your surroundings feel more familiar and relaxing.

  • Get out of your room

It can be tempting to stay in your room, especially if you are feeling homesick or lonely but isolating yourself can make your feelings more intense and you may spend even more time thinking about what you miss from home. Getting out can help. So try to get out of your room, even if it is just for a short while.

You could try exploring St Andrews and the surrounding area to help you feel more familiar and to find things of interest. Go for walks or a cycle, take a bus ride or take a trip…

Information on living in St Andrews   

Map of the University

Interactive walking and cycling map  

You could try studying in a different space like one of the Library Study Spaces

Try making sure you attend all your Lectures and Tutorials as this can help you connect with others as well as helping keep your studies on track


  • Find things you enjoy and keep busy

University is a great opportunity to try out new things and find new interests and through this you are also likely to meet new people and keep busy (which can help with feelings of homesickness or loneliness)

  • Keep in Touch with home (but not too often)

Keeping in touch with your friends and family is important and helps you feel involved with what's going on back home. However, keeping in touch too much can actually make you feel the distance more. One tip is to not let it get to the stage where you're communicating with people back home more than you are with people at Uni.

Try to focus on the here and now at Uni.

  • Ask for Help

Hopefully, feeling homesick will pass but, if you’re really struggling, then ask for help.

We have a range of support available.

Your Hall Wardennial Team are always keen to meet new students and are the first point of contact for any concerns you may have and can link you in with other services. They are on duty between 7pm and 8am Monday to Friday and between 2pm and 8am at weekends.

What support do we offer? 

You can book an appointment to speak to a member of staff or email for advice. You can also see our latest groups and workshops on our Instagram

Alternative Internal Support

  • Student Societies are a great way to find friends with shared interests
  • Saints Sport is the place to go for student sport, clubs and exercise facilities at St Andrews

  • You can check out your hall’s Facebook page for more information about upcoming events or contact your Wardennial team or hall committee
  • The 'Lifers' Teams channel is open to anyone and is a place where commuters share information about social events/activities and other resources

  • The Peer Support Network is a one-to-one service open to any student looking for a little extra company and friendship during their time at St Andrews.

  • St Andrews Nightline is a is a student-run confidential, anonymous listening and information service at the University of St Andrews. 

External Support

If you would like to access some self-help materials here are a list of alternative support resources.