It's real! After returning back to the U.S., many of you may have really missed your friends and families. You’ve come back to a familiar place with familiar faces and love sharing your experiences with them. However, much like how you had to adjust to your lifestyle in your host country, some students may have trouble readjusting to life at home once again.
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Stages of reverse Culture Shock
Happy to be home again! During this phase, your friends and family are excited that you’ve come home and are interested to hear about your trip, experiences, and see all the photos you’ve taken. You are just happy to be home.
You may notice that your relationships with friends and family have changed. You and your friends aren’t as close as you were before you went abroad. People might want to tell you about what happened to them while you were away and life at home might start to feel boring. You might even feel like a foreigner in your own home! Your personal interests and perspectives have changed and your lifestyle might be different compared to what it used to be. You’ve even developed new knowledge and skills and sometimes, it may be frustrating that you won’t be using them as often as you had to.
But gradually, you will begin to feel at home again. Readjusting may take some time and the shock of returning will eventually settle in and dissipate with time. Just be patient. (You might even develop a sense of Wanderlust again). One of the greatest challenges of re-entry and readjustment is having your “new” self adapt to your “old” home.
Now you're ready to integrate what you learned and experienced abroad into your life back in the U.S. This is a time to readjust to the cultural norms you were used to before you went abroad. It's normal to feel like maybe your friends & family don't quite understand the importance of international experiences and seem bored by your stories from when you were abroad.
Coping with Reverse Culture Shock
- Catch up with old friends from home! You’ve changed and they might have, too!
- Stay in touch with friends that you’ve made from abroad.
- Write about your experiences and memories that you’ve made.
- Your family may act a little different towards you and your newly developed independence, but spend time with them.
- Share your emotions with friends and family regardless of whether or not you are having difficulty readjusting.
- If you’ve had a host family, don’t forget to stay in touch with them, too!
- To help ease Reverse Culture Shock, get involved and keep the international experience going.