It’s been almost a month now since I’ve returned from my study abroad program, and from the beginning of my journey, I knew I wanted to do a post about reverse culture shock. While spending three months in London with the Hansard Scholars Program was a life changing experience, few phenomena compare to coming home after a whirlwind adventure to family and life back in the US. While, culturally, London was a fairly similar city to adapt to, getting to know the people and living in one of the largest cities in the world took some adjusting. It easily took me an entire month to figure out the Tube, feel comfortable at my internship, and establish familiarity with my surroundings.
For those just starting their study abroad adventures, remember to appreciate the little moments of figuring out your new environment. Take the time to appreciate how unfamiliar the public transportation or grocery stores might be, so when you inevitably return home, you can reminisce on your exciting adventures while also basking in the familiar. It can be shocking to hop back in your car and drive to meet friends for coffee, because that might not have been a possibility only months earlier. Take that time to remember daily commuting to classes, pushing through tourists to run your errands, and feeling like you belong in a completely new area.
Returning home can be tough, but you now have the opportunity to use your ability to adapt and thrive in a new place in any environment you encounter.