YOUR Guide to: make the most out of your study abroad experience by travelling, learning, and living
As we are closing out the fall 2018 semester, we are likely getting ready to return back to ‘normal life’ at home in California. Studying abroad can often seem like a fairytale, with consistent thoughts of ‘it’s too good to be true’ and ‘I never want it to end’. Unfortunately, we do have to return sometime (or else our parents mighttt get a wee bit antsy), so here are some tips to help you avoid reverse-homesickness:
1. Create a photo album/scrapbook/video:
- Gathering photos, videos, and memories from your time abroad and creating a keepsake from them can help you to look back and appreciate everything you did while you were abroad. Whenever you get sad about not being abroad, you can look through your memory book and reminisce on the great memories you made.
2. Make new travel plans:
- One of the best ways to overcome reverse homesickness is to make plans to go back, or to go somewhere completely new. Making travel plans, or plans to visit your friends from abroad (or have them visit you!), will give you something new to look forward to post-study abroad.
3. Keep yourself busy:
- One of the worst things you can do when you get home is to sit at home and be sad about missing out abroad, or having to leave. Go out and make sure you have fun at home! See your old friends and family, go out to eat or to the movies, and continue on with your interests. Life is still fun in Cali!
4. Utilise the skills, attributes, and interests you gained abroad in your life at home:
- Studying abroad truly helps people grow personally, as well as defines essential characteristics in individuals that are beneficial in CVs and graduate applications. Learn how to incorporate everything you learned abroad to your life at home. (Click here for more information on how to integrate study abroad into your international resume)
5. Remain connected with the people you met abroad:
- This includes both UCEAP students who also returned back to their UC’s, as well as all the international students you met at your host university. Utilise Whatsapp, Skype, FB Messenger, etc. to stay in touch with your friends. Schedule calls and FaceTime dates to make sure you don’t get too busy with other things and lose time to keep in touch.
6. Pick up new interests in Cali, at your UC, or at home:
- Finding something new to put your efforts and interest into can help you to gain new experiences that are similar to those from when you were abroad. This is a way to keep yourself busy, but it is also a way to continue to develop new interests and hobbies, despite being back in your old environment at home.
7. Travel in California, or the rest of the US:
- One thing that I realised after studying abroad is that there is adventure EVERYWHERE. I also realised that California is such an incredible place with almost everything to offer, from skiing, to beaches, to city, to desert. Before studying abroad, that was always something I took for granted. Now, a great way to cope with missing life abroad is to experience new things at home. Go to Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, LA or SF, etc. if you haven’t already – anywhere you go in Cali is well worth it, and will definitely help you to cope with reverse homesickness.
- I hung up a huge Scotland flag in my room when I returned back to UCSB, printed out about a thousand pictures from all the places I visited in Europe, and created a room that was just sooo ‘I studied abroad in Europe’-cultured. It’s one of the best ways to incorporate your life abroad back into your life at home.
9. Come back and visit:
- Honestly, you will probably never feel like you’ve gone back and revisited your host city/country enough.