It is important that you give yourself sufficient time to reflect on and process your study abroad experience internally. If you kept a journal while you were abroad, continue keeping it once you return home. Whether you process your experience in writing or just in thought, these questions should help you reflect and learn.
- In what ways have I changed?
- I have a new sense of autonomy; I can be comfortable and confident almost anywhere.
- I feel more responsible about my lifestyle choices.
- I feel more (or less) focused about my career interests.
- I have more interest in international politics.
- I am more interested in social issues.
- In what ways might my friends and family have changed?
- What are the lessons I have learned that I never want to forget?
- What are some skills I have learned?
- What are some things I might do to make the transition easier?
- What have been the important things about this experience that I want to share with family and friends?
- What new experiences did I have while abroad that shocked or surprised me about the world?
- How do I feel now about those experiences after returning to the U.S.?
- Are there certain stereotypes that I have let go of? Kept? Modified?
- How did my experience abroad make me think differently about the U.S.? What made me feel most foreign abroad?
- What makes me feel most "foreign" back in the U.S.?