Now that I am back home I am feeling a little bit of everything! I was so excited to see my friends and family when I got back, but I already miss SA so much. I left a little piece of my heart there. First of all, the jet lag was real when I got home. It took me a few days to settle back in. I was thankful to be back home and happy to see everyone, but I honestly could have stayed there a little longer! It had finally felt like I had a life there. We had made so many friends and memories there. I hope to one day return to my host country with my family so I can show them what it was like.
My study abroad experience has made me a more cultured, laid back person. I am so happy I stepped outside my comfort zone and took a chance. I feel like it has made me a more effective teacher and I have been able to see a whole other outlook on education. This trip has inspired me to want to travel even more. I just want to keep exploring the world around me. I think I have gained life experience that is truly unique and will impact me forever.
I have definitely experience some reverse culture shock. For starters, I now have a car again. It is wonderful, but I do miss walking everywhere a little bit. The food and signs are different. I am adjusting to the fast pace American lifestyle again. I will always miss how South Africa was a little slower in such a good way.
The best advice I can give to a future study abroad student is to take advantage of every opportunity there is. A year ago I would have laughed at someone if they told me I would be getting in a cage waiting for sharks to come at me. I also would have never imagined living in Africa. Now, I realize it was the best thing I’ve ever done. I miss it everyday!