Returning from your time abroad can be a considerable change. Know that you are always welcome to stop by the Study Abroad Programs Office to discuss your feelings and we host events targeted at returned study abroad students. Here are some things we require and recommend for students who are finished studying abroad.
Just as everyone experiences culture shock differently, so too do students experience reverse culture shock. Know that you are always welcome to stop by the Study Abroad Programs Office to discuss your feelings and we host events targeted at returned study abroad students. Our Returned Study Abroad Student landing page has lots of other ideas to help your combat reverse culture shock, including things like volunteering with international students, applying to live in the Global Living LLC through University Housing, and more! Below you will find additional resources about combatting reverse culture shock as we come across them:
- Reverse Culture-Shock: Coming Home After Studying Abroad
- Strategies for Common Re-Entry Challenges (Northwestern University Study Abroad)
“Just as studying abroad demanded a number of lifestyle changes, so too does returning home. Ideally, the person you are now returning from abroad is not the same person who left in the first place. You have been transformed intellectually and personally, and have successfully functioned in a culture entirely different from your own. You have new habits, values, and ideas, sometimes without even realizing it! Family, friends, and neighbors may find it difficult to comprehend the changes you have been through, and may expect you to be the same person that left. It can be difficult for them to understand your whole trans-formative experience, and you may find it hard to balance fulfilling old roles and breaking in new ones. This strain and stress can sometimes invoke a sense of helplessness or a loss of identity.”
– Megan Lee, GoOverseas.com “Reverse Culture-Shock: Coming Home After Studying Abroad”
Study Abroad Programs (SAP) invites study abroad alumni to participate in our Study Abroad Alumni Ambassadors (formerly known as GAP). Ambassadors serve as official SAP volunteer representatives and advocate for study abroad within the Georgia State University community.
- Join a community of fellow study abroad alumni.
- Participate in virtual events to discuss your international experience.
- Complete community service scholarship requirements for programs (i.e. International Access Scholarship (IAS) and Gilman Scholarship).
- Learn how to highlight your study abroad experience on your resume and cover letter.
- Gain valuable experience for your professional development through skills such as marketing, event planning, public speaking, and presentation delivery.
- Act as a mentor/advisor to prospective and outbound study abroad students and make significant contributions to the Georgia State study abroad community.
- Advise prospective study abroad students on available opportunities.
- Attend the virtual ambassador orientation in September.
- Participate in at least one international-related event during each term (ex. Study Abroad Fair, International Education Week, or other study abroad events on campus).
- Be a resource for outbound and returning study abroad students.
- Be a Georgia State undergraduate student willing to commit for the entire academic year.
- Have previous or current participation in a study abroad, exchange, or international internship experience while a student at Georgia State.
- Show enthusiasm and passion for study abroad.
- Have excellent communication skills.
- Be able to holistically reflect upon your study abroad experience(s) in a professional, truthful, and responsible manner.
- Share your study abroad story and help support students by joining the Global Ambassador Program
- Become a V.I.S.A Leader with the Office of International Student & Scholars Services
to help incoming international students
- Join one (or more) of the many international organizations on campus to connect with international students
- Attend the Georgia International Leadership Conference to meet international students & study abroad participants from all over the state
- Be a buddy to an incoming exchange student (contact Emily Caskey if you’re an RCB exchange participant or International Programs in the College of Arts & Sciences if you are a CoAS exchange participant).
- Volunteer at International Conversation Exchange sponsored by the Intensive English Program.
- The Multicultural Center hosts a variety of different events allowing students & members of Georgia State University’s diverse community to come together and share in the promotion of cross-cultural interaction, awareness, communication, dialogue and mutual learning.
Volunteering with the international community here on campus is a great way to “extend” your study abroad experience while gaining leadership experience, volunteer hours, and making connections with your international peers. There are tons of opportunities here on campus to get involved and staying in touch with your host country and the international community as a whole is one way of combating reverse culture shock.