Returning from campus-life abroad and re-joining a campus back home can be an overwhelming experience. Surprisingly, the actual experience turns out to be quite unexpected for most of the home coming students and they experience the re-entry cultural shock or return cultural shock. This cultural shock, at times, can be even worse than the one that students experience in the initial stages of adjusting themselves in another country, culture and social background. It is hard to accept that one can find it difficult to readjust to their native culture but people face such difficulties nonetheless. You may find it difficult to relate to people back home for various reasons and that can give rise to a haunting sense of alienation. Whatever be the reason for this, it isn't something to be taken lightly - it can cause serious health issues. The following section analyzes the probable factor that contributes to this situation and also about the tips to overcome this difficult situation.
Re-Entry Programs In Colleges And Universities After Studying Abroad
Factors Contributing To Re-entry Cultural Shock
Read for information on campus re-entry after study abroad, re-entry programs in colleges & universities after studying abroad, studying at the home campus after study abroad.
Campus Re-Entry After Study Abroad
- Personal Growth: The experiences, during the course of your life abroad, give you a wider perspective along with a confident mind and a rather bold attitude. This often leads to deviation in beliefs, values and convictions, causing a considerable variation to your personality. These changes can surprise your "old campus” and friends, creating an identity crisis for you and ultimately leading to alienation.
- New Knowledge & Skills: Foreign exposure helps you develop new knowledge and skills. For e.g., you become more proactive, confident, competent and compatible to survive in a country which is totally alien to you. This may also lead to a difference in your attitude and friends may feel that you stay lost in your world as a sign of your supremacy over them.
- Relationships: The most common reason of this phenomenon is change. Things might have changed while you were away - friends would have moved on or their interests might have changed. Also, the mounting pressure to become what you used to be before the abroad experience can bog you down. It is important for you to tell them that people change and it is ok to be different from what you used to be.
- Facilities: You might be acquainted with more sophisticated academic facilities abroad but when you come back, you may find it difficult to adjust to the lack of facilities in your home campus. You may also find it difficult to adjust with the academic system.
How To Cope With This
- Transition is a process that takes time. You have to set your expectations based on your home campus. You can also get an idea of the current campus with the help of friends studying there.
- Be proactive and talk your friends about your experience. Effective communication can help you gel well with your old campus. Associating with people who have had similar experiences is also an excellent idea.
- Break down the impediments and make a list of things that you find difficult and gradually work on them. Taking help form your peers and parents will only make it easier for you.
- Share the good things among your friends. Prepare some recipes you picked up, distribute some gifts among friends and give them interesting tidbits about your stay. These small efforts go a long way in breaking ice back home.
How Campuses Can Help
- Many institutions offer re-entry workshops or counsellings to help students readapt to the campus and incorporate their experience to their advantage.
- They encourage new friendships among all foreign-return students by making special cells and activities for them to work on.
- Campuses also help new aspirants know more about foreign studies by letting these veterans groom them.
Although campus re-entering may create some cultural and personal drifts, it is now addressed adequately by most of the universities to help their students to perform better. If dealt with a careful and better organized manner, campus re-entry after studying abroad is not a big issue.