How to Adjust to School Post-Studying Abroad

I have wanted to Study Abroad since I was 11 years old, ever since my aunt told me about the time she spent in college studying in London. When picking my college, I made sure I chose a place that had a comprehensive program, and curated my four year plan to ensure I’d be able to go. With all of this planning and forethought, I thought everything would be smooth sailing, even my adjustment back to life in America after four months in Europe. Boy, was I mistaken. 

 

When Studying Abroad, officials and experts warn you that you may have a hard time adjusting back into your normal life for a few weeks or even months. When people ask you “how was London?” or “what was your favorite part of the trip?,” it can be hard and frustrating to try and explain four months of your life in a few sentences. You miss the freedom and wonder of being in a new city, and you miss the friends you shared this crazy experience with. While I am definitely still in my feels about London, here are some things I have found helpful while trying to adjust to normal life. 

 

  1. Talk to Other People That Have Studied Abroad

    Photo courtesy of Tory Dias A very good friend of mine studied in Australia two years before me, so when we met up after I came back, I tried to articulate these feelings to her, and to my delight, she completely understood. She let me talk freely about my experience and assured me that my feelings were normal, which is really all I could have asked for.  

  2. Rekindled your Friendships

    Photo courtesy of Tory Dias

  3. Unless all of your friends came to visit, it’s likely there are many people in your life that you haven’t seen in months. Grab coffee with them and catch up, ask them what THEY’VE been doing in the past few months. This keeps you and the people you love from feeling isolated by the experience, and puts value on both experiences. It also ensures that you won’t be left in the dark on potentially major events in your friends’ lives!  

  4. Find a Way To Stay Connected To The Place You Stayed 

 

Photo courtesy of Tory Dias

One of my friends that studied in Barcelona got a tattoo of the Gaudi Rose that were found all over the streets. I keep Harry Potter books I bought in the countries I visited displayed on my shelf. Some of my friends bought jewelry that reminds them of where they stayed. There are always subtle things you can do to feel connected to a place you loved so much. 

 

     4)    Get Involved on Your Home Campus     

Photo courtesy of Tory Dias

    Nothing helps you adjust than by throwing yourself into something you love. I immediately rejoined my theater department when I came back, and it has helped immensely. Reconnect with your professors, go to study abroad meetups held at your campus, and make sure you stay involved. 

 

Studying abroad is a life-changing experience, and will in some ways alter life at home. Hopefully with these tips you can understand and manage your feelings and kill it this new semester. 

 

 

 

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