How to feel at home again: ‘You have to let go of the idea that you want the country to be like where you came from’

When growing up, there comes a time where you decide you’ll grow old in your hometown or seek happiness in another country. YouTuber JoeyJaq explains along with three international students in Belgium how to transform a house into your new beloved home.

Imagine you decide to move and live abroad for a while. You leave behind your familiar home and exchange it with the uninhabited house that suddenly has to become your safe nest. This is not an unknown scenario for 27-year-old YouTuber JoeyJaq. He left his hometown New York City to live with his Dutch boyfriend in Amsterdam. Does he like it there? And how does he make himself feel at home? Listen to his story down below.


JoeyJaq © YouTube

The international student Liang Hong (24) also decided that her happiness was somewhere else. After living in Beijing, China for more than twenty years, she now focusses on a master’s degree in communication studies at the VUB in Brussels. How does she deal with the differences between her hometown and Belgium? And how does she manage to stay happy while living abroad? Liang tells her story down below.


Beijing, China
Beijing in China, the home town of Liang © Zhang Kaiyv (Unsplash)

In addition to the VUB and undoubtedly other schools, Thomas More also attracts many international students who come to Belgium and stay here temporarily. Meet Philémon Stinès and Jakub Riha, two international students from France and the Czech Republic who are studying International Journalism together. How do they keep the connection with their home country? And how do they in some way let go of their connection to feel at home in Belgium as well? Listen to Philémon (first voice) and Jakub (second voice) down below.


International students Philémon (left) and Jakub (right) © Aram Van den Eynde

Want to read more about being away from home? Simply follow the hashtag #AwayFromHome on 21bis.be

Text: Giulia Latinne, interviewer: Laura Van Alphen, interviewees: JoeyJaq, Liang Hong, Philémon Stines, Jakub Riha, photos: © Alexandra Gorn (Unsplash) © YouTube, © Zhang Kaiyv (Unsplash), © Aram Van den Eynde