As the new semester is in full swing and classes are starting to get harder, and filling up my spare time with homework, I find myself missing my time abroad and struggling with adjusting to my life back at UNM. While I love this school and enjoy seeing my friends and all the activities going on, once in awhile this anxiety hits me. So in order to cope I found some solutions to help me readjust smoothly!
Although at times it seems the easiest solution would be to hop back on a plane and avoid getting readjusted altogether, the best solution is to embrace the reverse culture shock and try to move past it. I’m using the all of the tips I learned about culture shock while on study abroad to my advantage, in order to readjust here at home. Here are some of my tips:
- Keep in touch with friends. Communicating and visiting with the friends I made in Spain makes me feel more grounded, so that my whole trip all doesn’t seem like some dream I made up.
- Keep the option of summer or volunteer travel. Keeping in mind that you can go back makes adjusting easier because you won’t be away forever.
- Look into grad school or a future career abroad. Regardless of what happens, I know know that I always want a connection to different cultures, and researching these things makes me excited for the future after college.
- Tell stories of your time abroad. Telling my friends and family about the experiences I had while in Europe makes me feel more connected to them, and it helps them to understand the connection I had while studying in that area.
- Visit the UNM GEO Office. They can put you in touch with current study abroad students from other countries, and have even more tips to help with reverse culture shock.
While some level of culture shock is inevitable when returning home from abroad there are so many great things to do in Albuquerque to distract you. And not to mention now most of our families are a lot closer than 10,000 miles!