After you have had the most incredible time of your life abroad, you might be intimidated by the thought of adjusting to life after studying abroad. You have just spent the last few months in an entire new county with an entirely different culture. Adjusting to life back in the USA can be intimidating, but it is not impossible. With these steps, you will be back on track in America but still remember all of the wonderful times you had abroad.
1. Get Your Sleep Schedule Back on Track
From my own personal experience, the hardest part about adjusting to life after studying abroad was getting my sleep schedule back on track. If you have been studying overseas, there is a good chance you will be pretty jet-lagged for the week you come home. The day you get back, try to stay up as late as possible until it is a normal time to fall asleep. It will take some time to get fully back on schedule, but it is the first step in being able to function properly in America.
2. Realize How Much You Have Changed
Studying abroad is a huge learning experience. When you come home, you need to acknowledge how much you have changed and how those changes will affect your home experiences. Take some time to think about how different your life back home will be so the changes will not come as much of a shock to you.
3. Go out on the Town
What better way to assimilate back into American culture than to experience it again? Go see a movie or go eat at an all-American diner. The more time you spend around American culture, the easier it will be for you to move back into your habits from before studying abroad.
4. Take It Day by Day
You can’t expect that adjusting to life after studying abroad will happen the moment you get home. Understanding that it is a slow process is key in the transition. As soon as you return home, make a conscious effort to see how much you have adjusted each day. By acknowledging that things are improving day-by-day, you will feel less lost and confused after returning home.
5. Keep Yourself Occupied
If you spend your entire time sitting around missing studying abroad, how can you expect to adjust back to life at home? Try to keep yourself occupied and take your mind off of things. You can spend time with friends, go to museums, and basically anything to keep you busy. The best option would be to go to cultural events so you can still experience new cultures, just like you did while abroad, but while experiencing the culture in your hometown.
6. Stay in Contact with Your Abroad Friends
Staying in contact with your new abroad friends is great, not only because new friends are awesome, but you have someone to talk to about the adjustment process. Your friends might have some great suggestions on how to make the transition process easier. And it is great to reminisce on all of the fun you had abroad with your newly made friends.
7. Be Open Minded
If you come home and expect everything around you to be miserable, it will be. Be open minded to how enjoyable life at home can be. You might expect that your hometown is nothing when compared to your study abroad experience, but keeping an open mind can be just what you need to have just as much fun in America as you did abroad.
Studying abroad is an incredible experience, and the adjustment process back at home can be a huge part about how you feel about your abroad experience overall. No matter if you take these steps into account or not, the important part of the adjustment process is that you combine the experience of studying abroad with the feeling of being home. What did you think about these tips on adjusting to life after studying abroad? How did you adjust to life at home after studying abroad? What was the hardest part of the adjustment process?