Mental Health & Wellbeing – Adapting to a New Country

This blog post was written by Emma, a University of Tartu MA student in Wellness and Spa Service Design and Management ​​​​.


Moving to a new location is a daunting experience. For many students, being away from the comfort of their homes, staying apart from their families and adjusting to a different cultural environment can be overwhelming. It is essential to address those concerns for the betterment of our mental health.

Here are some of the things that can help you get through tough times:

Building a Network With Other Students

students networking

Photo credit: Patrik Tamm

Moving to a new place is literally like starting life all over again! It is not just about buying the materialistic things we need to survive but also the relationships we build with people around us. When you are away from your family and close friends, forming a network is a huge emotional support. It helps in overcoming the cultural shock one might get after relocation. Make efforts to meet with other international students from various parts of the world. Having conversations with others will make you realize that you all share the same struggles of being international students. By building this network of friends can also assist with coursework, and you can explore Estonia together and learn about other people’ culture and feel less homesick.

Taking Breaks

Students resting

Photo credit: Ken Mürk

At times back to back assignments can be exhausting. There are days when your mind may be preoccupied with other things and you may have low levels of energy. Well, it is completely normal, and it is the time to relax, take a break and just recharge. Going on continuously can cause stress and breakdown.  Take small breaks between work and do things that make you relax such as walking in nature, listening to music, playing games with friends and taking short naps.  

Embrace the Surroundings

Rotermann quarter

Photo credit: Rasmus Jurkatam

Everyone’s home countries are comfort zones because of the familiarity with the environment, familiarity with infrastructure, people, food, social norms, religion and more. That is why stepping out from them makes us feel like a fish out of water. However, there are many positives with moving to another country because it opens up to new experiences, adventures, new infrastructure and new way of life. Besides, stepping out of comfort zones is the best way for self-discovery.  It makes us aware of our own strengths and weaknesses. So, never underestimate yourself - perhaps you're stronger than you realize.

Keep yourself Motivated


Photo credit: Patrik Tamm

Negative thoughts can arise from an idle mind. Keep yourself busy by making sure you have something planned for the days ahead. Aside from your daily routine, spend time participating in virtual and onsite activities provided by your university, which may provide employment and networking opportunities for International Students in Estonia.

Through these programs, you can gain more insight into the Estonia work culture, which will help you with any job search. Furthermore, there are great ways to boost your confidence and help adapt better to difficult situations. 

So please, don't be alarmed. Everyone experiences fear, and worry occasionally, but if we put our minds to it, we can overcome these feelings. Let's be optimistic as the new semester begins and strive to maintain a good mental health!


Take care, 



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