Upon returning home I was really excited to be back. I was really ready to get some American food and get home to my family. As soon as the plane touched down in Atlanta, all I could think about was how happy I was that we made it back safely. Soon, I realized that my experience in South Africa was over. There was a part of me that would miss South Africa. The thing I would miss the most was how affordable everything was. I would also miss how friendly the people were.
I feel like my study abroad trip changed my out look on several things. This trip to South Africa abolished several stereotypes I grew up learning about Africa. I also feel like this trip made me grateful for things that I have. I have developed a different outlook on the world as a whole. I learned that we should not develop stereotypes or prejudices about other countries we have never been to.
I have experienced a small bit of a reverse culture shock since returning home. Most of the adjustment I had to make was the fact that the people are not the same. The people in South Africa were so much more friendly than Americans. Also, being able to get the foods I have been craving for the past few weeks has been exciting. Although since my time in South Africa was brief there was not a huge reverse culture shock.
The best advice I have for students wanting to study abroad is to keep your options open. Do not miss out on an amazing experience just because of a stereotype they have heard. Be open to new experiences but stay aware of your surroundings. Make sure you pack for every occasion and pack extra if you can. I feel like it is better to overpack than under pack. Make a checklist if you need to, that really helped me. Above all be sure to have fun, take pictures and make plenty of memories.