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What Really is the “Transition Back” After Study Abroad?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Conn Coll chapter.

Coming back to Conn after studying away last semester, I’ve found lots of my friends and professors asking me about the “transition back.” Yes, I know I am back on campus, but I’ve had trouble pinpointing what exactly this transition is and what it means for my day-to-day life. Here’s the breakdown of what this transition really is and what it’s really like. 

  1. Taking Off the Invisible Cloak 

There’s no denying that Conn is a small school, and it’s one of the big reasons I love it so much. However, after studying at a big university in a city, it was a bit of a shock coming back. Abroad, I was able to walk to class and get dinner without running into anyone, but at Conn I’m bound to see a friend within five minutes of leaving my dorm. While it’s great to feel connected on campus, I feel like I’ve also become more self conscious being back at Conn. 

  1. Loss of Independence 

Many study abroad programs place students in apartment-style dorms with kitchens, and I got used to making all my own meals abroad and then continued the practice while back home. Though the convenience of Harris and JA are unmatched, I feel less independent because I’m not relying on myself in the same way. 

  1. Back in the Bubble

Going from a major city to New London highlighted how campus can feel a bit like a bubble. Especially as an upperclassman, you hangout in smaller social groups and take classes mostly in your major which can be isolating from new people and new viewpoints. While I was abroad, I made friends from different schools and majors, which felt eye-opening and quite different from my social life at Conn. 

Though the “transition back” can be rough, it has also made me appreciate aspects of Conn that I had taken for granted. I love that I have close relationships with my professors and other staff members. I appreciate the learning environment and discussion that comes from the small class sizes. The abroad experience not only broadened my view of learning outside of Conn, but also my view of learning at Conn. 

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