Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Having spent my first year abroad in Valencia, Spain, I found that returning to a U.S. college campus for the first time as a sophomore was definitely a learning curve. I was excited about getting established on campus and finally being able to go to football games, but not quite ready to give up my weekends of travel and being immersed in a new culture.

I had heard of “reverse culture shock,” but doubted that I would be affected by it. However, once I arrived at FSU, I did experience the unique hurdles students face as they reintegrate into their home campus after an amazing year studying abroad.

Perhaps the hardest part of this experience was navigating the homesickness for a place I didn’t know when I would return to. While I was excited to be on campus, I missed Valencia, the place I had called home for my entire freshman year. Having the support of my study abroad friendships made this easier, but to combat this I tried to spend as much time on campus as possible.

By doing so, I frequently ran into familiar faces, whether from my study abroad experience, classes, or my involvement on campus. These encounters made the campus feel a lot smaller to me, and I developed a better sense of community here, reinforcing my sense of belonging.

Being an out-of-state student, I am grateful for having studied abroad because it equipped me with a built-in community upon returning to Florida State. However, I was ready to branch out and broaden my community through involvement on campus. During my first semester, I joined a lot of organizations, experimenting with what would stick.

Joining these organizations not only helped me meet new people but also allowed me to explore my interests and passions more deeply. Whether it was an international club, an academic organization, or just for fun, these affiliations played a crucial role in making me feel connected to the campus community. There are so many ways to get involved at Florida State, which allowed me to create pockets of community all over campus!

While dealing with the adjustment of establishing myself on campus, the more demanding coursework caught me by surprise. My time in Spain had allowed me a more relaxed approach to studying, with a focus on experiential learning. Returning to a more rigorous academic schedule and getting into my actual major was challenging, but I soon realized that my study abroad experience had equipped me with valuable skills such as adaptability. I incorporated these skills into my coursework and how I handled my academics making my transition smoother. 

Studying abroad supplied me with a unique set of skills and experiences that have proven to be valuable in my academic and social life. Now returning to Florida State for my second year on campus and third year overall, I can say with confidence that my experiences abroad and on campus have contributed to my love for this school! While navigating this transition was harder than I initially thought, I used campus and my experiences to create a new home here.

Want to see more HCFSU? Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Pinterest!

Aiven Davis is a new writer to Her Campus, this being her first semester writing at the Florida State chapter. Eager to bring her unique perspective she is looking forward to contributing personal and culture articles. Beyond Her Campus, Aiven interns at the Florida State Office of University Communications where she creates content through photography and videography for Florida State across their main social media accounts. She also volunteers at Seminole Productions where she contributes to the live broadcasting of a variety of sport events, including covering women’s soccer and volleyball, football, baseball, and softball. Her entire first year of school was spent abroad in Valencia, Spain She is currently in her third year at Florida State University where she majors in Digital Media Production with a minor in International Affairs. In her frere time, Aiven enjoys watching movies, specifically movies directed by women. Using this interest, she spends a lot of her time contributing to her passion project, a TikTok account promoting films made by women. In addition to this Aiven enjoys staying active by going for walks around campus, she loves going on quick trips with her friends and of course enjoying a movie at the on-campus theatre!