Upon Return

After 35 hours of traveling, I arrived in my home-town airport. There were so many different thoughts running through my head, such as excited and relieved to be back home and also overwhelmed by the change in scenery. It took about a week to get used to being back; the first few days were challenging because I went from constantly being surrounding by people, walking long distances in the heat, and living in a developing country to being alone all day and having nothing to do in my air-conditioned home. It was nice to have all my amenities back, but also kind of depressing. I have been back for a few weeks now, and I am used to being home but still miss my host family and classmates very much. Studying abroad definitely changed me as a person, as it does for many people. I had an appreciation for different cultures before I left, and it is even deeper now. I am less picky now about having first-world amenities, and also have a better understanding of how differently other people live. For future study abroad students, my advice is the following: when packing, find out exactly what you will need, even down to the clothes. I did not ask enough questions and ended up over-packing and having too much clothes that I could not wear. While at your study abroad location, take every opportunity to do unique things—even if you are tired! Keep a journal and write every night; I sort of, kind of did this, but I could have done a better job. You will be happy you did in the future. Overall, I think everyone should have the opportunity to study abroad!

Author: Jennifer F

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