Being awarded a Chevening Scholarship to study in the UK is exciting. You’ve worked hard on your application and preparing for your degree, and now it’s time to live your dream!

But, as many international students discover, moving abroad can also bring with it feelings of loneliness and anxiety. Everything from the weather, to the food, to the people you’ll be surrounded by who could be very different from those at home. While it’s exciting, it’s also totally normal to find yourself feeling homesick from time to time.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here are our tips for how to manage your mental health when you arrive in the UK.

1. Decorate your accommodation to make it feel like home

The quickest way to make yourself feel more at home in unfamiliar surroundings is to make them your own with decorations.

Whether it’s a framed photo of your family, your old bedding from back home, or a big flag from your home country pinned up on the wall, bring something with you to make your mark.

When you feel at home in your living space, you’ll feel more confident to go outside of your comfort zone – and that’s what Chevening is all about!

2. Know when you are next going to return home

One of the most difficult parts of moving away from your friends and family can be not knowing when you will be back home again.

Having a date in the diary for when you will next be going home can help. With your ticket booked and the spot marked on your calendar (even if it’s very far away!), you can make sure you have something to look forward to in the moments when you’re missing home the most.

3. Make a UK study bucket list

Your master’s degrees in the UK are only one year long, and with the demands of your degree to contend with, you might find that it flies past quicker than you expected!

One way to make the most of your free time – and give yourself a well-deserved mood boost – is to make a UK bucket list.

Make sure it includes all the things you’ve been most looking forward to about your year abroad. These can include big trips (like climbing Ben Nevis or visiting the Tower of London) and smaller things that you can do in your home city, like going to Afternoon Tea or having a Sunday roast.

4. Connect with your fellow Cheveners

If we could only give you one tip, it would be this one.

Your Chevening network is like a family, and you should reach out to them whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or homesick.

It’s full of equally driven and enthusiastic people who are all here for similar reasons to you, and experiencing similar ups and downs, so don’t suffer in silence if you’re feeling homesick!

We create many opportunities for you to connect with other Chevening Scholars throughout the year, and you can always follow what other Scholars are up to on Instagram, using the hashtag #MyCheveningJourney.


Although moving abroad can be daunting, we know that you’ve got what it takes to thrive. Good luck!

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