Ways and Methods of Alleviating Homesickness

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With the recent increase in globalization and international mobility, overseas settlements for work or study are now more common than ever. At the same time, the number of these population is still increasing. However, the process of adapting to the new environment is essential for working or studying abroad. Thus, social media is an important way for international students to alleviate homesickness (Hofhuis,Hanke & Rutten, 2019). Most students will have a homesickness situation. Its effects are usually negative and often occur in freshmen (Gotz, Stieger & Reips, 2018; Scharp, Paxman & Thomas, 2015; Hendrickson, Rosen & Aune, 2011). But, there is still no research showed that how social media alleviate homesickness for International students. My research is based on a social media in China called Wechat and I will do the research on the Chinese students in Penn State University. I wander does Wechat help Chinese students in Penn State alleviate homesickness.

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Social media is a important way to alleviate homesickness. The results show that, on the one hand, the contact between SNS and home country relationship is positively correlated with online social support. In addition, it shows that host families who are in contact with family and friends have experienced more loneliness and homesickness and have paid more attention to their cultural heritage (Hofhuis,Hanke & Rutten, 2019). SNS is a social media that make International students feel familiar with and this social media makes them feel like they are still in their countries. It is a good way to release the stress from suffering the homesickness. They also found that the SNS's contact with the host country can predict the host country's participation. The theoretical framework is that the term international settlers was originally used to describe any individual who settled in a country other than his or her own country. By the way, the above assumptions were tested in a sample of individuals working or studying in the Netherlands, and there were no Dutch nationals and no one born in the Netherlands. Respondents were contacted through different online and offline communities. The results show that SNS will have an impact on the adaptability of international students (Hofhuis,Hanke & Rutten, 2019). The researchers found that chat with the co-culture friends can release homesickness and SNS is a good social media, my research will keep find in a particular group with a particular social media to find the effects on the homesickness.

When some International students go abroad for the first time, leaving home will have a negative impact on these students (Gotz, Stieger & Reips, 2018). This will affect their both physical and mental health(Scharp, Paxman & Thomas, 2015; Hendrickson, Rosen & Aune, 2011). Leaving home for the first time can cause students to suffer, such as homesickness, self-denial, disappointment, loneliness, and so on. Homesickness is considered to be a complex interaction between personality, situation and environmental factors. The feeling of isolation seems to enhance cultural maintenance, which in turn is positively related to happiness. This finding is difficult to explain because alienation now appears to be both negative and positive. Researcher believes that this can be explained to those who have experienced alienation by using cultural maintenance as a coping strategy. Actively maintaining the culture and traditions of the country may help to reduce loneliness and/or homesickness and enhance the sense of belonging (Gotz, Stieger & Reips, 2018). However, regardless of age, almost everyone will experience nostalgia at some point in their lives. Severe lovesickness can have adverse physical and emotional symptoms. Physiological symptoms include stomach and intestinal discomfort, loss of appetite, sleep disorders, headache and fatigue. Homesick patients also reported serious physical symptoms such as overeating, attempted suicide, and heart disease. Homesick people will feel depressed, unsafe, nervous and lonely. The study explores the thoughts of homesick people on home, the meaning of home to them, and how people seek support when they are homesick. The method is a pilot study that first evaluates the facial validity of the interview protocol, provides a baseline for developing the content area, and familiarizes itself with topics that characterize family meaning. Studies have shown that home means physical, social and emotional comfort ( Scharp, Paxman & Thomas, 2015). For international students, leaving home is to leave their comfort zone. They will have a hard time jumping out of their comfort zone. In the face of unfamiliar circumstances, they will fear and feel lonely, which leads them to become more and more homesick and miss their parents and relatives. If they can't adapt themselves to the environment, it can cause depression if it is serious. International students usually have more friends from their home country; however, research has also shown that there are more connections between friends in the host country and satisfaction, satisfaction, homesickness and social connections. The theoretical framework used by researchers is a functional model that describes the formation of relationships among international students, including international alliance friendships, host country friendships, and multinational friendships. The researchers proposed two hypotheses and five research questions. A total of 86 international students from the University of Hawaii were recruited through the International Student Services and International Student Associations list to complete an online survey ( Hendrickson, Rosen & Aune, 2011). In order to reduce the pain of the homesickness as soon as possible, international students will find friends from other countries in their own country, because they will have more common topics and feel more like their own home. Expanding your social circle is the first step in getting out of your comfort zone. Homesickness is a serious question among International students and if students cannot overcome it, they will feel sick. My research will show how social media can help International students alleviate homesickness.

However, there is still no direct research showing that social media can reduce homesickness. So I studied whether WeChat can reduce the homesickness of Chinese students. I made a survey. The questions of the survey include how long it takes to chat with family members on WeChat, what time is it on WeChat every day, how to chat with Chinese students on WeChat, and so on. The data shows that in the freshman year, Chinese students video chat with their parents on average once a week, spend an average of more than 5 hours a day on WeChat, and they use WeChat to chat with students from the same school. The respondents said that they would be very homesick when there were Chinese festivals, such as National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival. At this stage, because they could not return to China, they would gather together with good friends around them to make some Chinese food. Then tell their parents that they are celebrating. They spend some time with their parents and videos at night to reduce their own homesickness. They also said that WeChat is an important social media that connects domestic relatives and friends. They feel that spending time on WeChat every day can greatly reduce their homesickness. Although they have been in the United States for many years, they will be very depressed every time they leave their home country. However, WeChat is a tool that makes you feel that you are still living in a place you are familiar with. The respondents also said that when they chat with their parents and see the familiar places in the video chat, they will feel happy and this makes them feel courage to work hard and go back to home as soon as possible. They all agree that Wechat is a way for Chinese students alleviate the homesickness. Although there are both positive and negative on using social media, it still a good way for international students to alleviate homesickness. Homesickness is a serious situation among international students, or it will make the college feel depression. Social media is a way to help International students alleviate from the homesickness (Hofhuis,Hanke & Rutten, 2019) which can make students feel sad, loneliness, and depression (Gotz, Stieger & Reips, 2018; Scharp, Paxman & Thomas, 2015; Hendrickson, Rosen & Aune, 2011).

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