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Cultural Readjustment

Cultural Readjustment  
Returning to the United States after studying abroad can be challenging and you may experience re-entry shock and challenges readjusting to life back on your home campus. Re-entry shock is also referred to as reverse culture shock, it is real and it is normal. 

Re-entry shock may look like:       reverse culture shock stat
  • Restlessness
  • Rootlessness
  • Depression 
  • Boredom 
  • Uncertainty/ confusion about the future 
  • Changes in life goals and priorities 
  • Others don’t seem to understand you
  • Alienation, isolation and wanting to be alone 
  • Negativity or intolerance toward the U.S. including common behaviors, attitudes, and customs 
  • Missing people, places, attitudes, or lifestyles of your host country  

The resources below contain reflection activities and videos that can assist you in understanding your experience, remembering, analyzing, and interpreting your time abroad.
Keeping Your International Experience Alive 
Some great ways to keep your study abroad experience alive and part of your life back on campus include participating in local volunteer opportunities that have an international connection, participating in cultural organizations, leadership experiences and attending cultural events on campus.  
  • Join a Cultural Organization on campus 
  • Become a Study Abroad Peer Advisor, the Peer Advisor Program connects study abroad alums with students who are interested in studying abroad and provides you the opportunity to share about your study abroad experience with campus – email to learn how to apply for the position.
  • Become an International Student Ambassador, as an Ambassador, you have the opportunity to welcome international students to the US and help them adjust to BW. E-mail to learn how to apply for the position.  
  • Assist with and attend cultural events on campus such as the Study Abroad Fair, I Heart Travel Week, Culture Night, and the Academic and Cultural Events Series (ACES).
  • Participate in a service opportunity with The David and Frances Brain Center for Community Engagement
  • Enroll in the BW Peace Corps Prep Program: Bringing together BW coursework with purposeful service and intercultural experience, the BW Peace Corps Prep program provides a pathway to prepare students for international development work and potential Peace Corps service. Email to get started!
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