As an international student, you might have experienced culture shock when you arrived in the US to attend college.
But did you know that there is a chance you will experience reverse culture shock when you return home?
This is a little-known problem that a lot of international students struggle with. If you want to prevent it or ease the reverse culture shock you might already be feeling, check out our tips below.
Symptoms of Reverse Culture Shock
You might not even realize what you are experiencing upon your return home after studying in the US. If you notice you are feeling bored, irritable, withdrawn, or just a little off shortly after returning home from years or even just months at school in the US, you could be dealing with reverse culture shock.
Maybe you are shocked at what has changed while you were gone, or perhaps you are surprised at what has stayed the same this whole time. You might start noticing details you never saw before in your home country, and you could also begin missing little things about the US. Luckily, there are ways to relieve these symptoms.
Surely you didn’t adjust to going to school in the US right away, so you cannot expect to adjust to life back at home immediately. It could take months before you really get back into your normal routine.
In the meantime, try to be patient with your friends and relatives at home. They might be asking you lots of questions that you don’t know how to answer, but they are just trying to find out what you have been up to during your time as an international student.
If you have trouble putting your experience into words, let them know this. Then consider writing it down, starting a blog or even putting together a scrapbook of pictures to give them an idea of your life in the US.
Use Available Resources
If you are still at your school in the US, find out if the university has an International Student Services center. Many colleges have resources for international students who may be going through culture shock as a new student, or who are at risk of experiencing reverse culture shock when they return home.
One popular resource that many colleges have is an international students club. This should be full of students who have come to the US from other countries and know how you are feeling as an international student. After all, it often helps to talk to others in the same situation.
It is possible that some of the students at your college have already gone back to their home country and then returned to the US at some point, perhaps on winter or summer break. That means you can reach out to them before you leave your college if you are worried about reverse culture shock.
But if you are already back home, find out if any local colleges have resources for students like you. You might even meet students from the US who are studying in your country. Talking to them about what you miss most about the US can help ease both their culture shock and your reverse culture shock!