Search
Close this search box.
SSA fingerprint logo, Make an impression

Returning to Life Back Home

Just as you had to adjust to your new life abroad, you will also need to re-adjust back to the culture and lifestyle of your home community. At times, this process can be more difficult than your transition into your host culture because you may find things different from how you left them, even though you expected everything to be the same.

Reverse culture shock is described in four stages:

Disengagement

As you prepare for your return back to your country of origin, you also begin to realize that it is time to say good-bye to your friends abroad and the place that you have come to call home during your studies overseas. With the hustle and bustle of finals, good-bye parties, and packing, your last few days fly by so fast that you may not have any time to reflect on your emotions and experiences.

Initial euphoria

After the airplane touches down and you are greeted by your friends or family, it will likely seem very exciting to be back in your home community once again. You become reacquainted with the people you have been missing, and much as everything seemed new and exciting when you first arrived abroad, you may find that everything back home seems new and exciting too.

Frustration

You may experience feelings of frustration, anger, alienation, loneliness, disorientation, and helplessness and not understand exactly why. You might quickly become critical of your native culture. Depression, feeling like a stranger at home, and the longing to go back abroad are also not uncommon reactions. You may also feel less independent than you were while abroad.

Gradual readjustment

Things will start to seem a little more normal again, and you will probably fall back into some old routines, but things won't be exactly the same as you left them. You may have developed new attitudes, beliefs, habits, as well as personal and professional goals, and may see things differently now. The important thing is to try to incorporate the positive aspects of your international experience with the positive aspects of your life in your native country. Hopefully, the knowledge and new perspectives that you gained while studying abroad will stay with you for the rest of your life.

In addition to being aware of the stages of reverse culture shock, there are also many re-entry resources that can be very helpful in making the adjustment back into home country culture. The following link provides a list of books, articles, websites and movies that can be useful tools in easing the transition.

http://www.middlebury.edu/international/sa/returning/reentry_resources

Another great idea is to attend a re-entry conference in your area upon returning home. There are many re-entry conferences hosted by regional groups or colleges and universities. Check out Lessons From Abroad, an organization that is dedicated to assisting students in the re-entry process, who maintains a list of these conferences hosted across the United States: http://www.lessonsfromabroad.org/resources/conferences-events/

Quick Links

Boost your resume, flourish as a human being, and have the time of your life.

Discover our custom programs for high schools and high school study-abroad opportunities.

Before study abroad: learn why SSA is your family’s partner in secure, enriching study abroad experiences. See how we support your student’s growth every step of the way.

After study abroad: make the most of your study abroad experience: get career support, become an ambassador, request a transcript, and more.

Learn about SSA’s custom programs, book a site visit, or become an esteemed SSA partner to earn exclusive benefits and discounts.

SSA Education Abroad logo
Who We Serve
Click here to further see Liberal Arts in English Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain

Immerse Yourself in the Vibrant Spanish Life in Seville! 🇪🇸✈️🎓

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, otherwise known as Sagrada Família

Barcelona, Spain

Explore Barcelona’s Rich Heritage & Spanish Delights! 🌟🏙️🇪🇸

Alicante

Alicante, Spain

Dive into Spanish Culture and Education in Sun-Kissed Alicante! 🌅📖🇪🇸

Click here to see Liberal Arts in Advanced Spanish San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Experience the Fusion of Cultures in San Juan’s SSA Adventure! 🌴📚🇵🇷

Click here for Liberal arts in Advanced Spanish

Córdoba, Argentina

Dive into Authentic Cultural Immersion in the Heart of Argentina! 🇦🇷📚🌆

Click here to see Liberal Arts in Advanced Spanish San Juan, Puerto Rico

Panama City, Panama

Navigate Through Panama’s Cultural Diversity with English Studies! 🛤️🌐🇵🇦

Patagonia Header

Patagonia, Argentina

Venture into Patagonia’s Wild Beauty with the SSA Environmental Studies Program! 🏞️🔍🇦🇷🇨🇱

We're Here to Help!

Beth Tyler INSTITUTIONAL RELATIONS MANAGER

Beth Tyler

INSTITUTIONAL RELATIONS Manager

Beth is your go-to contact for navigating the complex process of study abroad. 

She aims to respond to all inquiries within one business day.

Don’t hesitate to drop a message. No question is too small!

We're Here to Help!

susanhyman

Susan Hyman

Custom Programs Director

Susan is your go-to contact for navigating the complex process of customized programs. 

She aims to respond to all inquiries within one business day.

Don’t hesitate to drop a message. No question is too small!

Trying to learn more about Study Abroad?

We’re sending you our A-Z study abroad guide, including:

  • What study abroad is
  • Why you should study abroad
  • Where you can study abroad
  • Best universities for international students
  • How much study abroad normally costs
  • Financial aid requisites and how to apply
  • Hot tips for living abroad
  • How to get started
     
Skip to content