Coming home from Study Abroad can feel like a let down. It’s like taking those childhood feelings of disappointment that summer break is over and multiplying them by one thousand. Some say the reverse culture shock you may experience is worse than the initial culture shock of going abroad. You know what to expect coming home and this might be what you resist the most.
While you’re excited to see friends and family you’ve missed, it’s quickly followed by feelings of missing your life on Study Abroad. Before you book the next flight back abroad try to relax and become curious.
Life went on while you were away. You may have changed a great deal while on Study Abroad and you want to tell everyone about it, but try resisting that urge and get curious. How are your family/friends and what has their experience been like while you were away? What is different about your surroundings now than when you left? What is the same? What do you appreciate about being back?
Coming home with this kind of curiosity allows you to avoid becoming defensive and judgmental and reconnect more deeply with those you love. By doing so you also continue the learning of Study Abroad. After all, the real journey begins once you’ve gotten home as you reflect and figure out what’s next!