HSBC has created a collection of soundscapes, Sounds of Home, to help foreign students who feel homesick when they move to study abroad.
Research by HSBC has found that international students miss the sounds of their hometown more than anything else.
The research released earlier this month states that 92% of international students miss the familiarities of home when studying overseas.
For 57% it’s the sensory experience they miss most, and 74% states specifically that it is the sounds of their hometown.
The sounds that international students state they are most likely to miss are: the sound of people talking in their native language (50%), the hustle and bustle of local markets (26%), the rumble of public transport (25%), and birds, insects or native animals (20%).
Baroness Susan Greenfield, former fellow at the University of Oxford and CEO of Nero-Bio Ltd said: “Sounds and smells are – more than the other three senses – the most pervasive and the least contextual. Perhaps sounds are so important in homesickness because they are hard to encapsulate in a specific, single memory, and play a bigger role in our on-going consciousness.
“Sound also allows room for imagination, conjuring up in your mind a personal scenario. This means sound can be used to good effect to induce a sense of personal wellbeing.”
Homesickness can affect sleep, studies
While the study found that most (99%) international students found it to have a positive, lasting impact, two in five (43%) feel homesick at least once per week, almost half (49%) feel that missing friends and family has impacted their academic performance, and two in five (40%) have had interrupted sleep as a result of this.
Homesickness is particularly prominent late at night, specifically between 10pm and 12am.
Following the research, HSBC have released Sounds of Home to help international students feel connected to home.
The tracks feature the sounds of four countries – India, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan – and will be available on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes.
Nathan Donald, Head of International Propositions at HSBC UK, said: “[HSBC] Sounds of Home helps international students feel closer to the people and places they love.
“We created these soundscapes to complement the financial guidance and support we provide as a leading bank for international students all over the world.
“It’s another way in which HSBC is a reassuring presence for students who are away from home, helping them to navigate the fulfilling and challenging world of international study.”
Photo: Malte Wingen
Kate Frazer is a reporter for Global Education Times with a focus on UK/Ireland and North American education news. When she is not writing for GET News, Kate spends her time as an English and Maths tutor, and is currently pursuing her PGCE in Secondary Mathematics.
You can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org