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Brits in America: Christmas in New York helps to ease the homesickness

Bonnie's latest blog finds her hunting out beans on toast and British chocolate in order to dispel feelings of homesickness

  • Student life
  • Study abroad
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Bonnie MacRae

December 12 2017
Brits in America: Christmas in New York


As​ ​my​ ​first​ ​semester​ ​in​ ​New​ ​York​ ​comes​ ​to​ ​a​ ​close,​ ​I​ ​can’t​ ​say​ ​I’m​ ​not​ ​a​ ​little​ ​bit​ ​excited about​ ​returning​ ​home​ ​for​ ​winter​ break.​ ​As​ ​fun​ ​and​ ​unconventional​ ​as​ ​my​ ​university experience​ ​has​ ​been​ ​so​ ​far,​ I'm eager to return to the normality of Scotland.​ ​The hectic​ ​city​ ​life​ ​​over​ ​the​ ​past​ ​four​ ​months​ ​has​ ​left​ ​me​ ​longing​ ​for​ ​the peacefulness​ ​​of​ ​home.

Moving​ ​3,000​ ​miles​ ​across​ ​the​ ​world​ ​is​ ​no​​t ​easy​,​ al​though​​ ​New York​ ​City​ ​is​ ​a good​ ​distraction​ ​when​ ​​feelings​ ​of​ ​homesickness​ ​hit.​ ​Many​ ​of​ ​my friends​ ​here​ ​are also​ ​from​ ​the​ ​UK,​ ​so​ ​having​ ​others​ ​who​ ​feel​ ​the​ ​same​ ​way​ ​is a great help.​ ​Cravings​ ​for​ ​beans​ ​on​ ​toast​ ​and​ ​British chocolate​ ​occur​ ​for​ ​us​ ​all​ ​and to​ ​have​ ​a​ ​community​ ​that​ ​understand​s ​these​ ​hankerings​ ​is​ ​helpful.

Follow the rest of Bonnie's journey here

Brits in America: why the liberal arts works for indecisiveness

I​ ​recently​ ​surprised​ ​one​ ​of​ ​my​ ​closest​ ​friends​ ​with​ ​a​ ​birthday​ ​trip​ ​to​ ​a​ ​British restaurant​ ​with​ ​beans​ ​on​ ​toast,​ ​bangers​ ​and​ ​mash​ ​and​ ​sticky​ ​toffee​ ​pudding​ ​on​ ​the​ ​menu and our feelings​ ​of​ ​homesickness​ ​dramatically​ ​diminished.​ ​Next​ ​door​ ​to​ ​the​ ​restaurant​ ​was​ ​a​ ​classic British​ ​chip​ ​shop.​ While immersed​ ​in​ ​US​ ​culture,​ ​it’s​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​forget​ ​about​ ​the​ ​comforts​ ​of​ ​home, so​ ​making these​ trips to British restaurants or​ ​spending​ ​a​ ​little​ ​extra on​ ​British​ ​snacks​ ​is​ ​sometimes​ ​all​ ​that​ ​is​ ​needed.

As​ ​the​ ​days​ ​get​ ​darker​ ​and​ ​New​ ​York’s​ ​first​ ​snowfall​ ​of​ ​the​ ​year​ ​is​ ​soon​ ​expected,​ ​experiencing Christmas​ ​in​ ​the​ ​city​ ​is​ ​another​ ​aspect​ ​of​ ​life​ ​so​ ​different​ ​from​ ​home.​ ​Just​ ​like​ ​the​ ​movies, New​ ​York​ ​neighbourhoods​ ​are​ ​already​ ​decked​ ​out​ ​in​ ​coloured​ ​lights​ ​and​ ​festive​ ​decorations. One​ ​night​ ​a​ ​friend​ ​and​ ​I​ ​walked​ ​all​ ​the​ ​way​ ​from​ ​campus​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Rockefeller​ ​Centre​ ​to​ ​see​ ​the​ ​famous​ ​tree.​

​Christmas​ ​markets​ ​and​ ​ice​ ​rinks​ ​are​ ​also​ ​dotted​ ​all​ ​over​ ​the city ​and​ ​have​ ​been​ ​another​ ​great​ ​distraction​ ​from​ ​both​ ​the​ ​stresses​ ​of​ exams​ ​and​ ​feelings​ ​of homesickness.​ ​Most​ ​recently,​ ​Columbia​ ​had​ ​its​ ​annual​ ​tree​ ​lighting​ ​ceremony,​ ​a​ ​tradition​ ​where thousands​ ​of​ ​students​ ​gather​ ​to​ ​start​​ ​the​ ​seasonal​ ​festivities.​ ​The​ ​trees​ ​that​ ​line​ ​the college​ ​walk under​ ​Columbia’s​ ​main​ ​gates​ ​give​ ​the​ ​campus​ a ​festive ​vibe.

The​ ​spontaneous,​ ​stressful,​ ​sometimes​ ​implausible​ ​nature​ ​of​ ​my​ ​first​ ​semester​ ​has​ ​left​ ​me​ ready to come​ ​home but also excited to see what is in store for my next semester.​ ​

Read more: How to deal with homesickness at university

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