Upon your return you may have trouble re-assimilating into American culture and campus life. Students may have difficulty readjusting to the schedule on campus or life at home. Re-entry shock is inevitable and even the best prepared will have some adjustment issues. Take the time to adjust and remember how you adapted when you were abroad.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Think about these questions as you prepare mentally for or upon your return:
- What is the most important value you learned overseas?
- What did it mean to you to be overseas? How were you received?
- Have you gained any new values from being in another country?
- How have you (or will you) incorporate these new values?
- Do you feel that you have changed at all?
- Do you think that people will notice that you have changed?
- What do you look forward to upon your return?
- What will you miss most about your host country?
- What is one thing you wish you could have done while being abroad?
- What is one thing that you are particularly proud of having done?
- Do you have any future plans to return to your host country?
How To Transition
These are just a few tips to make your transition back to the US and to Stanford go more smoothly:
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Stay in touch with the other students from your overseas program (i.e., use BOSP chat lists or Facebook groups).
- Think about becoming a Student Advisor with the BOSP program for next year, applications for the position are mid Spring quarter.
- Organize gatherings with the people from your overseas program in order to reminisce.
- Check out foreign films from your host country from the Stanford Library.
- Join an international student group on campus.
- Participate in a language table dinner at one of the theme dorms on campus (i.e., Haus Mitt, Maison Française, etc.).
- Go to the Bechtel International Center to find out what international students from your host country are up to on campus.
- Keep in touch with the Bing Overseas Studies Program; you will begin receiving our Abroad alumni newsletter.
- Tutor students in elementary or intermediate language classes on campus.
- Make a “public photo album” with a reasonable amount of photos to share with friends and family.
- Share some overseas stories now with your friends and family and save some for later!
- Write your thoughts and feelings in a journal.
- Read news online or in the library about your host country to stay connected.
- Suspend judgment or self-criticism of how you are feeling about your adjustment to returning.
- Use your sense of humor.
- Thank your parents and others who made your overseas experience possible.
- Send emails and postcards to the new friends you made overseas.
(adapted from the Carlton College Reentry package)