Leaving California to go study abroad can be tough, but so can returning to the US after studying abroad. Many people may experience reverse culture shock or just miss studying abroad in general. But know that you aren’t the only one feeling that way and that you will eventually feel at home in California once again. Here are our tips for adjusting to life after studying abroad:
Keep in Touch
The friends you made while studying abroad probably don’t all go to your UC. Some of them might be British, international, or from other parts of the US or California. When you’re used to seeing these people everyday, it can be difficult to be hundreds of miles away, but modern technology makes staying in touch easier than ever! When you’re feeling nostalgic, these are the people who will be able to reminisce with you; they were there at your late night study sessions or when you were delayed at the airport waiting for your Ryanair flight. And, by keeping in touch, you’ll have people to visit from different parts of the world! It’s always great to have an excuse to go travelling again.
Surround Yourself with Other Study Abroad Students
Try to find other students who have studied abroad; even if it was in a different country than you, they’re probably going through something similar to you now. Does your UC have a study abroad club of some sort? If not, start one! See if you can help out at your campus’ study abroad office or go to events for prospective students. Seek out international students who are studying abroad at your UC or plan a reunion with the students who were on the same programme as you. Whatever it is, talking with other people about studying abroad can be a great help.
Keep Up Your Study Abroad Habits
While studying abroad you probably picked up some important skills. Maybe it was time management – you had to finish your paper before you went on that trip! Maybe it was increased independence – when no one else wanted to visit that museum, you went anyway! Studying abroad is a learning experience even outside the classroom and you probably learnt something about yourself while you were away. If you embrace the way you changed while you were gone and use it in California, you’ll always have a bit of the study abroad experience with you!
Try not to be frustrated with your friends who don’t want to hear all of your study abroad stories; show them your pictures but also ask them what’s new in their lives. Remember to appreciate the American things you missed while you were in the UK, rather than thinking about every British thing you miss now. And remember that adjustment doesn’t always happen right away, so give yourself time.