Well, I’ve come full circle. I have traveled to China and returned home all in one piece. I honestly missed the United States. Breakfast food, potato chips in certain flavors, driving, trees, and the sky are all things as aspects of life at home that I missed. My first stop after getting back from the airport was the nearest Waffle House.
My experience abroad definitely changed me in a positive way. I am more confident and comfortable in my skin. I know that I am capable of whatever I set my mind to. I have my experience abroad in Shanghai, China, to thank for this personal growth. Without this experience, I may have never had this level of confidence, or it may have come later in my life.
I experienced slight reverse culture shock, which just means that I had to readjust to life at home in the United States after being in China for 2 months. It was a little weird when I came home that there were less Chinese people around me. I did not realize how comfortable I had become surrounded by Chinese people and an unfamiliar language. It feels even stranger that home should be something I have to adjust to. You have to accept that although this is home, you have been changed by the experiences in life since you last returned. You changed, home did not.
For anyone else seeking to study abroad or travel to Shanghai, I would highly recommend it. Don’t be afraid to venture out, go explore whatever and wherever you can, and try everything. That’s the way to travel. Go in with that mindset, and the return will be infinite.