Preparing for the Transitional Experience
Think back to your first few weeks at the University of Minnesota. Do you remember feeling excited, nervous, anxious or even a bit stressed? Perhaps you felt all of these things, but eventually you settled into a familiar routine.
Click on the Graph to enlarge it.
The emotional highs and lows that you experience while adjusting to the American way of life are also experienced when it comes time to prepare to return home. It is hard to imagine having a difficult time adjusting back to life in your home country, since you know the language and you will have the support from your family and friends around you once again. However, the adjustments that you go through when returning to your home country after having lived abroad are predictable and normal.
Some common feelings
about returning home are:
- Why doesn’t anyone understand me?
- Why do I feel so bad about being home?
- Everyone at home has changed.
- I’ve changed.
- Everyone at home looks the same, where’s the diversity?
- I miss the freedom and independence I felt while I was in the U.S.
- Why don’t they believe me that this transition is hard?
- How will I tell them what I’ve learned without being insulting?
- Who can I talk to that understands me?
- Will this ever get easier?
One of the best ways to cope successfully with the re-entry process is to prepare yourself before returning home. It is helpful to have realistic expectations and to have thought through the re-entry process before experiencing it. Please take a moment to look at the following links that aim to provide you with the tools needed for the transitional experience of going home: