Adjusting to Life at Home
At first, coming home may seem like a straightforward process. For many returnees, however, coming home actually involves some re-adjustment and lots of learning. In many ways, the process is similar to the cultural adjustment you probably experienced when you first went abroad: it may trigger feelings of excitement, trepidation, alienation, frustration, boredom, depression, and reverse homesickness. In fact, re-adjusting to home may feel even stranger because we generally don't expect to have to re-adjust to familiar surroundings.
A “new you”
During your time abroad, you undoubtedly changed and grew in a variety of ways, both personally and intellectually. Because of these changes, you may notice that some of your relationships are a bit different than they were before, or that you now view your own culture through a different - and often more critical - lens. Sometimes you may not even realize the ways in which you've changed until you have spent some time at home. Coming home involves figuring out how to integrate the parts of you that are new into your old life.
Learning from home
Much of the learning from your study abroad experience will occur from this point on, as your experience "sinks in" and you have the necessary distance and time to reflect on all that has happened to you in the last semester or year. It is from this time of readjustment forward that you will truly develop the competence to move between and in and out of different cultures.