Homesick? Go to IKEA!

Homesick? Go to IKEA!

Hello readers, welcome back to my blog where I guide international students through the crazy, overwhelming feelings they will get during their stay here in America. This week, I will be talking about a feeling that everybody gets from time to time (if you say that you don’t you are lying, don’t be that kind of person): homesickness.

In your first week at The Washington Center, you will receive a lot of information on a lot of different topics. You will meet a lot of new people, shake a lot of hands, repeat your name a 1000 times and correct people that pronounce it wrong a 1000 times. Through this whole crazy process, it is very easy to feel overwhelmed, which often goes hand in hand with missing home.


I never thought that I would feel homesick. I have been away from home many times, sometimes even for a long period of time. But here I am, two weeks into this program, missing my home. I want every current and future international student to know that this is completely normal. I mean, we are in a foreign country where the people, food, animals, weather, metric system and so much more are completely different. But, don’t worry, I came up with a plan to make you feel right back home if you need it: get your homesick butt out of bed and go to IKEA.


Ikea logo

Courtesy of Giphy


If you have never heard of IKEA, you must be part of the population on this planet that lives under a rock. With more than 300 stores in almost 40 countries, IKEA is like the Coca-Cola of furniture. IKEA is perfect in many ways, but what they excel in is their brand continuity. Every store around the world looks almost exactly the same. The unpronounceable Scandinavian names, their beautiful yellow-striped polo shirts and, of course, the Swedish meatballs.

So here is a tip: whenever you are feeling sad or homesick, go spend the day in IKEA. The closest IKEA to The Washington Center is just a subway and bus ride away, so distance is not an acceptable excuse! Go buy stuff you don’t need, only because it’s 99¢. Get yourself a bunch of small pencils, just because they are fun. Ride down the aisles while standing on your cart and sing to the IKEA music that is always on point (the world really needs "radio IKEA" btw).


And last but not least, go eat some meatballs. In America, the meatballs come with vegetables (IKEA knows what is good for the US) and mashed potatoes. In Belgium, the meatballs come with Belgian fries and applesauce. Whatever the sides on your plate though, IKEA will make you feel better, I guarantee it.


TWC intern Helene visiting IKEA


On that note, safe travels to IKEA, say hi to my yellow-striped polo friends, and I will see you again next week!


I wave you goodbye,


Read Hélène previous blog posts

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