Culture & Re-Entry Shock
Returning to the United States can be just as challenging as the initial move overseas. You may develop feelings of anxiety because you have to re-settle with your friends and family. This is known as reverse culture shock. You’ve just experience an amazing, life-changing event and many people will not know how to interact with the “new” you. Know that as you re-adjust to your own culture and country, the sadness will subside and the old and new you will eventually come together.
Your reactions to re-entry may vary, and may include one or more of the following:
- Reverse homesickness
- Changes in goals and priorities
- Negativity or intolerance towards the your home country including behavior, attitudes, customs, and common social practice
There are a number of things that you can do to help the transition of your experience:
- Join Shepherd Study Abroad Club and share your experiences
- Expand your academic interests to encompass your experiences (i.e., a minor in Art History) or take classes in your area of interest.
- Communicate with others by sharing similar experiences in order to verbalize thoughts, feelings, reactions and difficulties encountered at home.
- Rework your resume to highlight your study abroad. Be specific and explain some of your experiences.
- Start researching your next adventure abroad: study, work, intern or volunteer overseas again.
- Remember, you are a role model to students who have not been out of the country. Share your experiences and inspire them to follow your example.
- Be an alumni in the Study Abroad Club share how you dealt with the re-entry process
- Take advantage of the Career Services Center. Lots of helpful information is available regarding international positions.
- Volunteer in the study abroad office
- Enter the Study Abroad Photo Contest
- The Assimilation. Finally, the traveler gets used to being home. Perhaps the traveler finds a job and goes back to school, and all seems well. Perhaps to the outsiders. However, all of us who have traveled know that something bites your heart, changes your mind, and sometimes even messes with your stomach.