Typical Problems and Tips
The main word to describe what students may feel upon returning home is alienation.
The life students knew while they were away has changed. Things have happened while they were gone and this may make students feel alone. Also, stories and pictures rarely convey how much of an impact the study abroad experience can have. If students have difficulty making others understand their experience they may get frustrated. The alienation experienced after returning home can surface in a variety of ways.
-Home life can seem much less exciting upon returning. Students may feel a sense of frustration or disappointment. Students go from a long term period of newness and excitement to the monotony of the life that they were familiar with.
Suggestions to help students:
There are certain things students can do before and after returning home to help ease the transition process and reduce re-entry anxiety. It is important to find a balance between healthy connections with home and habits that may hinder the study abroad experience. These suggestions should be used in moderation and should not take over the time that a student spends abroad. These are adapted from a manual published by the University of Florida
Tips for before returning home:
Tips for after returning home:
Initial return home can be stressful
and depressing. Most students adjust back to their home life and return
culture shock transforms into an increased perspective on what the
study abroad experience offered. A healthy transition is defined by
a student being able to incorporate what was learned during a study
abroad program into home life and moving forward with new experiences.