Last night marked this semester’s Preparing to Go Home Workshop, an hour long session where students are encouraged by staff and those who’ve “been there, done that” to enter the mindset of what it will be like to go home. After four months of incredible new experiences, full of difficulties and growth, study abroad students often underestimate the “going home factor.”
They adapt quickly to their new environment abroad and settle in just before it’s time to uproot and head Stateside again. The workshop is designed to discuss the particular challenges ahead upon their return home and the complexities and often confusing (but very normal) emotions that go along with reverse culture shock. Students are given information and tools on ways to integrate their experience into their future and how to translate what they’ve accomplished into marketable resume material. And of course, Umbra staff also discusses how to cope with, find support networks, and process the last (and arguably the hardest) part of the study abroad experience; returning home.