CISABROAD BLOG · October 22, 2019 · 3 Min Read
Share a Meal to Feel at Home | Intern Blog from Thailand

Fight Homesickness with Home Cooked Meals

At some point during your time abroad, you will feel culture shock from stepping outside your comfort zone or that suspicious knot in your stomach as you long for the comforts of home. This feeling can range from overwhelming to only a minor inconvenience. In my case, it was a slight inconvenience that went away easily with food— specifically, home-cooked food. No matter where you travel, study, or intern abroad, a home-cooked meal is universal, and it certainly brings feelings of happiness to whoever shares the meal. Hence, my advice is that don’t decline the chance to share a meal to feel at home!

Share a Meal to Feel at Home

 There is something special about sharing food with a local that brings a smile to my face. In the “Land of Smiles,” there is nothing quite like the smile of a Thai host when you take a bite of their home-cooked meal. “อร่อยไหม (Is it delicious)?” they ask. “อร่อย (delicious)!” you reply. The food your host has prepared is delicious with the saltiness of the fish sauce and the sweetness of palm sugar. Two home-cooked flavors that bring a smile to face and expel the feeling of culture shock.

Food as a bridge of connection

Share a Meal to Feel at Home

Luckily, I’ve been invited to dine several times at the homes of local Thai people. Once in a student dorm and another time in the home of one of the local clinic nurses. It’s always a little nerve-wracking stepping into someone else’s home when you speak so little of their native language, but there is one thing all persons share in common:  a love of food. Food bridges the gap between foreign persons. 

During my internship in Thailand, I chose to live at a homestay. Every day for breakfast and dinner, I would share a meal with my wonderful host. Together, she would teach me fun, new Thai words, and I would tell her all about my adventures in Chiang Mai. It was easy to have a fun time in the relaxed setting of a kitchen.

Warm sunlight streaming through the windows, a smile on the face of the person sitting across from me, and delicious food in front of me made for a wonderful situation.

Don’t decline the chance to share a meal to feel at home

Considering how sharing a meal with others relaxed me during my time abroad, I would encourage you to do the same. Talk to as many local people as you can, and make friends. Before you know it, you may be invited to dine with someone. In short, if you get the chance to dine with Thai people, do it. You are likely to feel a little more at home.

Share a Meal to Feel at Home


Read more blog posts from Thailand!

If Mackenzie’s experience resonates with you, read more blog posts about homestay or homesickness!
Learn more about Mackenzie’s program in Thailand!

The CIS Abroad blog is run by Zoë Crabtree, Jenn Weisgerber, Siobhan Tripp, Emily Negard, and more folks on our marketing team. Head over to the “Meet the Team” page to learn more about us as individuals. On the blog, we share student-written content and information for students, advisors, other study abroad professionals, and families of students studying abroad. Check out our Facebook and Instagram for more from us and our students!