By Kippie “Sumitra” Aguilan, Staff Writer
“I am considered an international sister, receiving my undergraduate degree in the United States, then earning my graduate degree in Hong Kong. I have already had my share of experiences, but how would you recommend to fellow sisters how to deal with feelings of being homesick and even all the travel involved?” – Intentionally International Sister
With the holidays well underway, I certainly understand how feeling homesick can get to anyone. However, you are already on the right track, just by being a sister of the best sisterhood ever! Sisters of Delta Phi Lambda should already know that though we only have chapters in the contiguous United States, our sisters are from all over the world. Even in our National History, we discuss that our Founding Mothers wanted our women to find “a home away from home”, and reconnecting with sisters in countries different from our own will help to strengthen that relationship and calm our fears of being alone in a world in which we are unaccustomed. Let me give you some examples!
From Purdue University, we have a sister studying abroad in the Netherlands but raised in Singapore while another sister is doing a work-study program in Taiwan, another is preparing for her medical career in South Korea and a few other sisters originate from Malaysia. From Illinois State University, we have two sisters who, starting in late January 2012, will be studying abroad in Japan – one of them is a neophyte, no less, so it’s lucky for her to have joined our great sisterhood in time to have a sister she can turn to out there. From Loyola, we have a sister who is originally from Thailand and a neophyte born and raised in Hong Kong and from DePaul we have a sister originally from Shanghai. From the University of Central Florida, we had a sister living and raising a family in Italy due to military reasons whereas from Georgia Tech, we have a sister who is splitting her time between Atlanta, Chicago, and Canada where her family resides; then at Georgia State University, we have a sister who is currently overseas teaching in Japan. And do not forget that we are slowly taking over the nation as well, from “the Redwood Forests to the Gulf Stream waters,” you can hear our call!
Even in a foreign country, miles away from family, friends, or even sisters, there are still ways to cope with feeling lonely and dealing with the distance that separates you from loved ones. One way to get started is by joining a nearby club, just like you did when starting out with Delta Phi Lambda – local hot spots such as groceries or community boards offer clubs to residents such as movie or book related clubs and even stranger ones, such as the examples in the movie “The Fight Club.” Try looking for classes in your area, such as language classes or cooking classes, where there is a common, singular bond amongst the students. There will also likely be singles groups to attend where you can not only meet new friends but potential life-partners. A great place to start your search for connections can be libraries, hostels where there are other travelers, or even colleges where there are bound to be others just like you. If you struggle, know that technology is ever-present and a loved one can be as close as your computer screen, using Skype or other voice/camera chat programs. You just have to keep in mind that even with all the space in between, you are never alone.