Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Culture Shock After Studying Abroad

I am back at Wake Forest after the most amazing semester in Europe.
(Click HERE to read my summary of my study abroad adventure).
However, coming back to Wake was not as easy as I thought it was going to be.

One of the points I make in my abroad summary blog post is that I was pleasantly surprised that I adjusted very well to France and Europe quickly after arriving.
I didn’t have much of a culture shock.
I found France very comfortable and similar to home.
However, when I did return home I was overwhelmed by culture shock.

I didn’t feel like myself.
I felt very disconnected from my family and friends.
I brushed it off and figured it was just jet lag that was causing these feelings, but it continued all the way until I moved back to school, three weeks later.

I later talked to my friends who were abroad with me and we all said the same thing, that we were all affected by reverse culture shock. 

Normally, students face culture shock when studying abroad, because the culture in a foreign country is completely different than their homes. For me, and some of my friends, as I later found out, it was the reverse; only after I returned home, was I in shock.

Moving back on to campus, was so overwhelming. I felt so out of it.
I felt weird for a day or two, but now that I am starting to get into a routine and remember what it is like to be a student at Wake Forest, I am moving out of my shock.

From what I gather, my reverse culture shock is from all the changes that happened over the course of a very short time.
I lived in a new country and spoke a different language for four months, became well adjusted, and left my home, friends, family, language and culture behind. 
And then once I returned to the states, I had to readjust to my family, friends, house, culture and language.

It sounds crazy because I have lived on Long Island in the same house my whole life, but seriously, being abroad changed me.
It was so weird coming home.
I was so happy to, don’t get me wrong, but it felt strange and different.
I had spent four months alone in another country and felt disconnected from my home and my family.

I have always been very close to my family, but during my time abroad, I became a bit disconnected from them because of the time difference.
Sad as I am that that happened, I feel I became more independent.
With that being said, I am still adjusting to being back in the states.
It is amazing that I can now call my mom again every day on her drive home from work, like I have for the past six years and call my dad whenever because we are in the same time zone.

I am adjusting to living in North Carolina again after nine months apart.
I am also trying to balance spending time with my friends from before abroad and my new ones.

The adjustment has been weird, and I am glad that I have friends that feel the same way that I do, and that I am not alone.
If you have any recommendations on how to readjust back after being abroad or any similar experiences, please let me know!

J Crew cream knit sweater | American Eagle x4 Jeggings | Vince Camuto brown riding boots | J Crew gold tassel earrings | Michael Kors gold Blair watch 


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