#SeanAbroad – Transition from Studying Abroad to Coming Home

By: GoEnnounce Student Sean Kirkpatrick

So now after about five months, I am home and back to the normalness of life. London was one of the greatest places I have ever been and I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to go abroad. I loved all the places I got to visit and see. And I made some great friends and memories that will stay with me for a lifetime. One thing though that I have noticed about being back, is that all I want to do is tell my friends from home about how awesome it was. This seems fine except you might make them feel a little uncomfortable with you going to all these awesome places and while they were still going on with their normal lives. Therefore this last post is going to be how to transition back home from being abroad. It sounds simple but I found it to be a little difficult.

One of the best things that happened the last week of being abroad was that all my friends and parents were messaging me and telling me they can’t wait for me to be home. It was awesome and I felt like everyone was awaiting my return like I was now a member of the English Royal Family. But, a word of advice, don’t let this go to your head. Yes, people want to see you and yes they will message you saying they miss you but don’t expect them to stop everything that they were doing or had planned to see you. They still had lives while you were abroad and made plans. An example for me being that all my friends who texted me work during the week were too tired to meet up after their work day and wanted to sleep and be ready for the next day of work. Unless you come back to a job, you will probably feel really bored. Just remember that your friends will see you when they have the time, they still have lives too.

The second thing that you will probably find yourself doing when you come back from studying abroad is that you will want to tell stories about what you did and all the awesome places you went to. This is fine but make sure not to overwhelm your friends with stories. When they ask how it was, definitely tell them, but make sure to ask them how their time was; if they did anything fun or if anything new happened. You don’t want to seem selfish by making it feel like it’s all about you.

One last short word of advice for when you are back home. It might seem like a no brainer but a lot of people forget about this– make sure if you made friends with people abroad that you keep in touch. You never know, but you might have met someone while abroad that you would want to see and talk to again. This can mean local people who live in the country or even people who studied abroad with you. The best part of study abroad is not only that you get to travel, even though that is awesome, but also that you got to travel with new people and met friends you will remember forever. So keep in touch and, who knows, maybe in a year or two you can go visit them.

Your time abroad is going to be one of the best times in your life. You will meet new people, see new places, and even learn about the world and other cultures. But when you come back to your real life at home, there’s a chance you might get reverse culture shock and that’s okay, that’s normal. Just make sure that you have a healthy way to deal with it. I know for me, the time abroad will stay with me forever. And now, I even want to move back to England after I graduate, which is way too soon. Hope all you guys studying abroad in the future have as much fun as I did.

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