Leaving your home behind is usually the hardest part of long-term travel like studying abroad. However, cherished holidays always put an extra strain on that distance.
Even if you aren’t able to go home for Christmas, not all is lost. You can still make your Christmas memorable and give it a distinctive study-abroad flair! Here are a few ideas that are bound to make your Christmas merry!
Skype During Christmas Dinner
Whatever it is you decide to do on Christmas holidays, make sure to organize a video chat, via Skype or FaceTime, with your family during Christmas dinner. The technology makes these things easier and easier. While it’s not the same as being home in person, it still gives you the chance to “sit at a table” with your family and enjoy the banter over the meal. Being away doesn’t mean you have to be cut off completely!
Mail Your Gifts but Open them Together
Naturally, this requires a bit of planning on both sides, but it’s totally worth the effort. Exchange gifts with your family and friends via mail, but promise to keep them closed until the morning if the 25th. That way, you will have something to look forward to and feel the love as you unwrap your present on Christmas morning.
To avoid disappointments, make sure the package is mailed save period in advance. Post services get busier during the holiday season, so you really need to plan this carefully.
Take up Volunteering Opportunities
Whatever country you are in, most local charities will be recruiting volunteers to work the heavy shifts throughout Christmas season. You could help out and serve warm meals in the homeless shelter or provide some company to the elderly in the retirement homes. It’s a nice way to keep your spirits. Even when far from home, volunteering will give you a feeling of purpose and community.
Crash with a Friend’s Family
It’s likely, you have friends from your host country or some of the surrounding countries where it’s not too expensive to travel. If one of them invites you home for Christmas, just say yes!
At first, it might feel weird to spend Christmas with somebody else’s family, especially if the holiday feels intimate to you. You might even think you will be better off by yourself, but I beg you to reconsider. If he or she invited you it’s because they want you to be part of it. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to learn about festive traditions in another country from a very authentic perspective. If you can, bring something from your own culture to the table!
Join forces with Others in the Same Situation
Chances are you are not the only one staying put during the holidays. If there are more of you, take the opportunity and make your own off-the-grid Christmas celebration. Combine your traditions and create a Christmas day you will remember forever. You can stay home or head into the streets… the world is at your feet!
Treat yourself to Comfort Food & Binge Watch Netflix
If all else fails, accept the reality and make the best of it. How often do you actually get a moment completely to yourself? A day when you don’t have to get out of bed. In fact, all you need to do is enjoy the little things in life. Just make some supplies of your favorite comfort foods, download your favorite movies, TV series or go on a binge-read. Chances are you will probably have the whole flat to yourself so you can really go quirky. Nobody will be there judging you 😅.
Want to get the chance to learn about a new culture and live in the heart of a thriving European city? Study Abroad Apartments offers some great options for students planning to live abroad. Just get in touch with us if you need any help finding somewhere to stay and we’ll make sure you have one of the best options out there!