Office of Learning Abroad

Reverse Culture Shock

As difficult as it is to adapt to an entirely new culture, it can be just as challenging to come back home after being away for any period of time.  Unlike when traveling abroad, most people do not anticipate feeing like a foreigner in their home country. It is best to know what you might encounter in order to prepare for this adjustment period.

Expect to experience some measure of reverse culture shock.  Emotions that are commonly associated with reverse culture shock are restlessness, reverse homesickness- missing people and places from abroad, boredom, insecurity, uncertainty, frustration, feelings of alienation, negativity towards American behavior, and need for excessive sleep.

Some coping strategies for reverse culture shock are to stay in touch with friends you made while abroad, get involved in international activities at SUU, journal your thoughts and emotions, and plan another trip.  It may also be helpful to talk with other return study abroad students who are experiencing the same emotions as you.