4 Replies from Mentors
Rae RaeSenior Year StudentLoyola Marymount UniversityMy hardest challenge was coming back to America with such a different world-view and exposure to alternate lifestyles. I was a foreign exchange student when I was only 15, and while abroad in France, I did a lot of maturing and growing up; Going to school and going to dance practices or gossiping with my friends seemed so trivial and dull after I had lived independently for a summer. You’ll want to tell the world about your life experiences, which unfortunately can be a bit tiresome for your friends and family to have to endure. My mom often complained of me saying “Well in Europe it was like this…” constantly! I’d cope with this by talking about your experiences with other friends who studied abroad instead boring your family! You also will miss your host country. You will undoubtedly make friends and develop relationships with people that are now far away from you. Not only people, you’ll miss the atmosphere, maybe a favorite restaurant or your favorite clothing store. The best way to cope with this is to be grateful for your family and friends at home as you most likely missed them while you were abroad. Keep in touch with all your friends you made abroad and surround yourself with souvenirs and memorabilia that remind you of your host country.
Additional MentorVarious students and administratorsinterviewed by the Center for Global Education
Novia and Margret, Students, studied in South Korea and in France and Japan
Novia and Margret share their experiences with reverse culture shock.
KimberlySenior Year StudentLoyola Marymount UniversityFor me, the hardest challenge of being home was coming back to an environment I have not been accustomed to for several months. Of course, it was difficult for me to get used to the fact that I was not in China anymore, but what was even harder for me was not having my friends that I made abroad with me all the time. Like I said, when abroad, you build such strong friendships with the people around you that once those people are not with you anymore it feel strange to adjust back to seeing other faces.
AshleyJunior Year StudentLoyola Marymount UniversityThe semester went by way too fast since I was so busy and it was so much fun. When I returned home I felt as though I was not there long enough. There were still things I wished I could do, but I knew there was no time to do it. At first I was frustrated since I felt as though I did not accomplish everything that I wanted to, but now that I look back on it, I realized that I did make good use of my time and fit in as many trips and events as possible. I will definitely return to Europe eventually so I will continue my European experience then.