Studying overseas was undoubtedly one of the most academic and culturally enriching experiences of your life. It is an experience that will forever change how you view the world and how you interact with it. It is vital that you find ways to use this experience in your life at home, both to make the most of your own experience and to share your experience with those around you in order to change their lives.
Now that you're back stateside, you should feel right at home, but some things are a bit off. Learn the signs of re-entry shock, how to cope, and how to keep your international experience alive.
Your reactions to re-entry may vary, and may include one or more of the following:
No matter how much time you spent abroad, you will experience differences in yourself, your family and friends, and your surroundings upon your return home. At times, you may feel that no one understands how you've changed, and it may be difficult for you to realize that life has not only changed for you, but it has also changed for your friends and family. All of these things can make you feel a little out of place at home.
This process is much like the cultural adjustment you experienced when you first went abroad, only in reverse. Similar to having to adjust when you go to another country, you must make some adjustments coming home as well. The coping skills and strategies that were successful in helping you adjust to your host culture will be just as helpful coming home: get involved, identify a support group of other study abroad students, suspend judgment until you understand a situation, and always, always keep a sense of humor.
Stay in touch with your friends from abroad