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Overcoming Homesickness Abroad

Being homesick can change many things during a basketball season. If you went away to college far from home you probably have experienced a little homesickness. It's quite normal and in my opinion nothing to be ashamed about! Arriving and living in a new culture for most people can be overwhelming and very difficult.

It’s normal to miss friends, family and things you are used to back in your home country. When I first left to play basketball in Finland from the USA, I missed the grocery stores being opened everyday until at least 11pm. But in Finland and in most European countries, all big stores are closed on Sunday and usually stay open during the week until about 9-10pm. Yeah big shocker for American's who have experienced stores like Walmart and big grocery stores open 24-7. (Article attached)

So hopefully this will prepare you and not scare you from playing basketball overseas! However I recommend that you try to get adjusted to the culture and make the most of your time overseas. Staying in touch with friends by phone (expensive), email, and letters is important when going away for a 7-8 month basketball season.

Most basketball teams in Europe have a small break in November for European competition within that particular country if they participate. If you arrive in August or September then you could probably go home in November if the team allows it. In December you should have a break for Christmas to visit home for one or two weeks depending on the scheduling of your league. So time does fly by really fast if you look at it that way. In no time it will be playoffs and you're back home with your family and friends. Take a look at my basketball timeline for more information of a typical basketball season.

Staying busy
is important for me because that point I find myself bored I feel like I want to go home. I always try to stay busy, in fact I volunteered to work in a local library in Finland. I went every morning about 9:00 and stayed until morning practice which was 11:00. Went back later for a hour or so. It was very rewarding for me because it was a chance to use the internet, make this website and keep myself busy. So if you are highly motivated you can find ways to not get homesick and make your stay overseas worthwhile.

Last year I studied Spanish at a local university for two hours each day for 3 days during the week. Learning Spanish was very important for me to communicate with my team and just living in Spain. NO ONE likes to speak English there :) After classes were over I found a new hobby that could interest you.

Making a little (BIG POTENTIAL) extra money while playing basketball overseas if you have access to the internet. Read more in this subject.

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