Reverse Culture Shock

Video Transcript

Reverse culture shock, along with culture shock, is inevitable. When you come back, you're going to be on a high. You're going to be excited because you get to see your family, your're back home in your own bed with a room where you can shut your door. And you're so excited to tell everyone your stories. And as you're telling your stories, you just realize that there's only so much you can convey and only so much that the receiving end is going to actually take in. And it will be hard, and I think knowing that it will be difficult is one way to make it easier. Don't expect yourself or force yourself to immediately jump back into what you were doing before you left, because more likely than not you've in some way changed since before you left. You're not going to be the exact same person, and that's with any experience that you have in life. So accepting that reverse culture shock is going to happen, and then finding ways to cope with it. Whether that is—to the extent that you can—maybe you can stay in touch with your host family or friends from that country. Connecting with someone at your university, hometown, wherever it may be, that has been to that country before or maybe has been abroad. Again, no experience is going to be the same, but if you have a friend that's been abroad to a different country, more than likely they're going to be feeling that same reverse culture shock that you're feeling. Even though your experiences were different, your stories were different, just knowing and having a conversation that you both are kind of like, 'Ah man, I really miss being in XYZ country. I really miss the food, I miss my host family,' and then someone else just saying, 'Yeah, me too!' That is one way to deal with it.

A Boren program representative describes methods for dealing with reverse culture shock.