Returning home after studying abroad can sometimes feel a bit confusing. At first, you will probably be excited to be reunited with your friends and family, sleep in your own room and enjoy the various reassuring comforts of home. But after this excitement fades you may start to feel a bit out of place, maybe even similar to how you felt when you first began your study abroad program. This feeling is refereed to as Reverse Culture Shock and it is completely normal for students to feel this way after studying abroad. So here a few tips that will hopefully help you handle it;
1. Find a creative way to share your experience
You are going to want to tell everyone everything about your time studying in a foreign country. But unfortunately, not everyone really wants to hear your in-depth answer when they ask about your experience abroad. Don’t take it personally, most of the time this is just because they can’t really relate to what you’re telling them. A great way to counter this is by finding creative ways to share your experience with other people, not only does this make it easier to share your stories but it also helps you to document you experience in a fun way! A few good ways to do this are by; making a photo journal, cooking a dish from the country you studied in, posting your photos on social media, travel blogging or writing a review of your experience for the college newspaper.
2. Find other people who have studied abroad
Other students who have studied abroad are probably the only other people who will really understand what you’re feeling right now. So try to find other students at your college who have just returned from studying abroad. It can be comforting to talk about your reverse culture shock with people who are experiencing the same thing. This is also a great way to find interested listeners to tell about all your adventures (as long as you listen to their stories in return).
3. Keep in contact with the friends you made while studying abroad
Being back home does not mean you have to lose touch with the friends you made while studying abroad. Keeping in touch can be a little challenging, but it is definitely worth the effort! The friends you made were a key part of your experience and making a conscious effort to use Facebook, WhatsApp or Skype to keep in contact with them will help keep your study abroad memories alive.
4. Keep up your new habits
The chances are that you have probably discovered new hobbies or developed new habits. Maybe you joined a new club, began cooking for yourself, found a workout schedule you love or even just started getting up/going to bed at different times. If you found joy in these new habits, don’t just give them up. Find ways to continue including these habits and hobbies in your life. Just because your are back home does not mean that you have to live your life exactly as you did before.
5. Plan your next trip
Plan your next trip back to the county you studied in! Instead of allowing yourself to be sad that you aren’t there anymore, get yourself excited about when you’ll go back. You can start planning your next vacation or explore internship and summer job opportunities.