What can I expect when my student gets home from studying abroad?
- A student’ transition back to the U.S. varies greatly depending on the individual. It is not uncommon, however, for students to experience some difficulty in adjusting back to their home culture.
- Students who have studied abroad may return with different attitudes regarding their culture, other cultures and their place in the world. This is okay. Study abroad students have been exposed to new experiences and are sometimes changed by them, either intellectually or personally.
- Students to return to the U.S. after studying abroad sometimes have negative feelings toward aspects of American culture. It is important that you are patient with your student while he or she adjusts and understand that these feelings should not be taken personally. It should also not be assumed that a student’s negative feelings may ever completely go away, however the student will likely find a place again in American culture after some time has passed.
Some students find it difficult to find other students who have had transformational experiences abroad and may feel as though others cannot relate to their new perspectives on the world.
If your student wants to maintain international learning experiences, suggest they:
- Talk with the International Office about helping with study abroad orientations
- Get to know international students at ODU
- Read online newspapers from their host country
- Begin planning for future trips abroad, whether that be another study abroad, work, internship or personal travel experience
- Consider how he or she can incorporate what they learned into his or her future studies or career