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8 Things To Expect After Studying Abroad

It's like you were on another planet

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1. Wanting to go backā€¦ Immediately.


This may happen as soon as you get to the airport, or the morning you wake up in your own bed. Either way, it doesn't matter how excited you are about going home. You'll realize it was basically a huge mistake as soon as you leave the country you've been calling home for the past few months

2. Your friends and family missed you a lot


It seems like you haven't seen them in years, no matter how long you've been abroad. You may think they want to see you the second you get back, and they will! But after you're home you realize everything is back to business as usual. Everyone is busy with their jobs and other obligations, and you're still adjusting to your transition back home (which can mean doing a lot of nothing, or a lot of things to catch up on). You'll slowly reunite with friends and family over time, but it won't happen the second you get back.

3. Answering the same question over and over again


"How was (insert country here)?"

Hmmm, how do I sum up 6 weeks or 4 months? "It was great! Yeah, I had a lot of fun and learned a lot."

"Cool. So, have you checked out that new coffee shop that opened by the mall?"

Everyone will want to know how your time abroad was, but they don't want every detail. They may ask a couple more questions, but overall they're satisfied with a one sentence answer. They probably saw all of your pictures on Facebook or skimmed through your travel blog, so they don't need a full summary.

4. Wanting to hang out with your friends, but not having any money


Maybe your friends want to go out for drinks, or get tickets to a game. Maybe they're even planning spring break and invited you to join. As much as you want to be a part of all of it, you just spent all of your money on traveling while abroad. It may be disappointing having to turn some of these offers down, but just remember: your experiences were completely worth spending a few weeks at home/working until you have some extra cash.

5. Getting sick from your home country's food


Chances are you had to adjust to the food in the country where you studied abroad. The food is often processed differently, and cooking methods aren't the same as what you're used to. You may have noticed you were slightly sick right when you arrived to your host country, and it's no different upon returning. Even though you may have eaten the same kinds of food your whole life, your body is no longer used to those. So when you get back, you have to readjust to the food at home.

6. Reverse culture shock


Most people don't expect to experience culture shock when returning to their home country. "I've lived there my whole life! How could anything surprise me?" It may sound crazy, but it's true. After an extensive period being totally immersed in another culture, being back home may not feel the way you expected for a while. It will take a bit of time to get used to things, just like it did when you were abroad.

7. Feeling nervous or left out in social situations


This is partially caused by the reverse culture shock. You feel a bit out of place, and it can be uncomfortable. Maybe people are talking about big events you missed while abroad, or you don't really know what to talk about after being out of the country for so long. If you're back at your college, it may seem totally foreign after studying at a college in another country. It's totally normal, and the feeling will go away as time goes on.

8. Constantly being reminded of your time abroad


So much happens during a study abroad, no matter the length your program. Almost everything you do on a daily basis at home will remind you of something that occurred while you were abroad. You'll catch yourself saying, "When I was in ____" a lot. You end up wanting to share stories about how that reminded you of your time abroad.

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