Don’t ask your student if he or she is homesick. The power of suggestion can be strong.
Write—even if they don’t write back. Occasional care packages are huge emotional boosts.
Ask questions, but not too many. Use honest, open ended questions.
Don’t worry too much about stressed out phone calls or e-mails. You will likely hear about the failed test but not about successes.
Visit on occasion—not too much—and call ahead.
Keep a positive attitude about change. Avoid projecting the adjustment you are making onto your student.
Validate feelings, then encourage.
Avoid negative comments such as “Cafeteria food can taste bad” or “I hope your roommate isn’t a problem.”
Use technology to stay in touch within reason: cell phone, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, etc.
Remain calm if the dreaded call comes: “I want to come home.” Help your student approach this as a young adult. Recommend resources such as the resident assistant, resident director, campus counselor, instructor, roommate, campus pastor, mod parent or coach.