If you've just returned to the U.S. from your study abroad experience,
Many study abroad students say that the re-entry phase, in which a study abroad student returns to the U.S. and readjusts to American culture, is the most difficult phase.
Understand that like culture shock, reverse culture shock is perfectly normal and even expected.
Symptoms may include:
- "Host-country-sickness" (missing people and places from your study abroad program)
- Negativity towards home culture
"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged
to find how you yourself have altered."
How to Deal With Reverse Culture Shock
- Continue reflecting on your experience. If you journaled during your study abroad experience, continue writing and reflecting on your feelings and perceptions.
- Understand that you are not alone and that most if not all study abroad students are dealing with reverse culture shock.
- If you are interested in attending a "Study Abroad Returnees Meet & Greet" for students who have returned from their study abroad experiences, please email us so our office can gauge interest.
- Stay connected with the friends you made while abroad.
- Volunteer! It's common for friends and family of study abroad students to not fully understand or be as enthusiastic about your experience. If you're still eager to talk about your experiences and adventures, volunteer for the Office of Study Abroad & International Travel! As a returnee, you're our greatest resource for motivating students to study abroad! If you'd like to volunteer, please contact . We'd be happy to have you speak at classroom presentations, information sessions, or the Study Abroad Fair.
- Get to know our on campus! They may be experiencing similar situations like you did when you studied abroad, so you can serve as a guide and help them transition at UofL.