Returning Home: Re-Entry Guide
Thanks to: Jack Henderson, former Director of Dickens College Off-Campus Program for use of his materials.
So now you're home in the good old USA after having spent a semester or year abroad. Depending on your experiences while abroad, you may have multiple feelings about being back. If you studied abroad in a country with a different language, you may feel relief at being home, where things like clothing and shoe sizes suddenly make sense. On the flip side, after that initial euphoria over being home, you may begin to feel depressed - missing the friends you made abroad, the excitement of living in a different country, the feeling of newness and adventure you experienced when waking up each morning, the food, culture, etc. You may find yourself comparing the US to the country in which you studied abroad, and suddenly view many things as irritating that never bothered you before. For example, why are the buildings in this country all so big and ugly? Why are Americans so impatient? You may also find that relationships between family members and friends have changed.
If you can relate to any of the above, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone in the reentry adjustment process: many students experience the same difficulties that you do, and undergo a type of "reverse culture shock" after returning to the US. Coming home involves a certain amount of readjustment, often more than you may be expecting. You must readjust not only to life in the US, but also to the academic and social life at Haverford.