Reverse Culture Shock, or "re-entry", is a term associated with the phenomenon of returning to one's own country and culture. Very similar to culture shock, a person entering into their home environment will have to make adjustments to reacquaint themselves with their surroundings. Unlike culture shock, most do not anticipate feeling like a foreigner in their own home. However, it should be expected. If you have made any cultural adjustments while abroad, you will have to readjust once back home.
Experiencing reverse culture shock is extremely common and may include any to all of the following emotions:
- Restlessness, rootlessness
- Reverse homesickness-missing people and places from abroad
- Boredom, insecurity, uncertainty, confusion, frustration
- Need for excessive sleep
- Change in goals or priorities
- Feelings of alienation or withdrawal
- Negativity towards American behavior
- Feelings of resistance toward family and friends
There are many ways to overcome reverse culture shock. Some suggestions include:
- Staying in touch with fellow study abroad students and sharing your re-entry experiences.
- Get involved in cultural or international activities in your community or on your home campus.
- Stay connected to the world through global news networks and newspapers with an international/global focus (The Economist, BBC World, The Christian Science Monitor, etc).
- Journal your thoughts and emotions.
- Share your experience through writing contests, photo contests, being an active alumni, etc.
- Plan your next abroad experience, whether it be backpacking through SE Asia, teaching English in Eastern Europe, or returning down under.
See more about Reverse Culture Shock in your GlobaLinks Learning Abroad Alumni Handbook, which gets mailed to your permanent address shortly after the end of your semester.
ANOTHER GREAT RESOURCE: www.pacific.edu/sis/culture