Coming back after studying abroad is a difficult process. Often times people go through something known as reverse culture shock. Running around a new city, eating new foods, meeting new people, and hearing different languages are all new and exciting experiences. Just when you start to become comfortable in your new situation, it’s time for you to come back to reality. Perhaps you went to experience new cultures, learn a language or you just wanted a break from your normal life, but no matter the reason you left, coming back can be a hard transition.
Being back in a small, rural state college might not sound as appealing as sitting in a cafe across from the Colosseum, but you shouldn’t fret. I have created a list of all the things that made coming back home a little easier, while also making leaving those four months of fun behind less painful.
First off, you’ll come back being on top. For many people who study abroad, you will be returning to school as a senior. You only have one more year left before graduation! You can look forward to all the amazing classes left to complete your major requirements and really dive into your passions for the career path you chose. You can also see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just All that is left is to put in some hard work and you’ll be reaching new goals and achieving new dreams in no time. Who knows,you could be on a plane heading somewhere new in no time!
Even if you aren’t going into senior year, you still are able to come back to a familiar setting. You know your campus like the back of your hand. I remember looking at my schedule the night before the first day, I had to think long and hard about where all my classes were. But as soon as I saw my campus that next day, it all came flooding back.
Another perk to coming back to school after being abroad is that ice breakers became much easier. When the whole class has to go around on the first day and say an interesting fact about themselves, you’ll have many to share. You’ve lived in a different country before, and you’ve travel to other countries while living abroad. Also, you have all the details that make those trips so memorable in your mind. You can tell your class about that time you had a picnic at the foot of the Eiffel tower.
Lastly but definitely not least, are your friends you had left behind in the states while exploring the world. Those people who you go to stinky basement parties with, the ones who you stay up late with eating junk food with, and the ones who you laugh with about this and that. You have kept in contact with some, yet there are so many that you haven’t had the pleasure to talk to yet. Getting the chance to talk them about your travels and catching up on their lives while you were gone is the best feeling.
As much as it hurts getting on that plane to go back home, there are many things about the place you left behind that you have missed. Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy it happened.