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Returning Home After Studying Abroad: Coping with Reverse Culture Shock and Reflecting on Your Experience as a Zambian Student

Returning Home After Studying Abroad: Coping with Reverse Culture Shock and Reflecting on Your Experience as a Zambian Student

13 Nov 2023

Many students study abroad for a bright future so that they can be financially stable and send money to Zambia online. Everyone has heard of culture shock, which refers to the emotional challenges that come along with immersion in a different culture. Adjusting to the new situation is challenging. You likely miss the people, food, and way of life that you experienced while living abroad. 

Getting along with family members might be difficult. You might feel uninspired, disoriented, and uncertain about your objectives for the future. When you return home after studying abroad, it may be more difficult to adjust than it was before you left. What can you do to break out of this rut? Before reading about reverse culture shock, you may need to know What is 'Culture Shock.' Continue reading to find out what reverse culture shock is and how to manage it successfully.

What Exactly Is Reverse Culture Shock?

Upon returning from studying abroad, many people experience reverse culture shock, also known as re-entry. Similar to your initial acclimatization to living abroad, it is a stage of emotional and psychological re-adjustment. If you don't have a location to pursue the new interests inspired while you were overseas, you may have symptoms such as feeling as though no one understands you or how you've changed or feared that you would lose a piece of your identity. 

Your responses to re-entry may differ, but typical symptoms include restlessness, rootlessness, boredom, despair, unease, disorientation, loneliness, and reverse homesickness. This process will be similar to the culture shock you might have gone through when you first traveled abroad but in reverse. It might take some time to get used to life back home, just as it did to adapt to a new culture when you first moved there.

How Will You Handle Reverse Culture Shock's Challenges, and What Kinds Will You Face?

Although there are many reasons to anticipate returning home, doing so presents many psychological, interpersonal, and cultural challenges. Because they are frequently unanticipated, these can be particularly difficult.


Returning to family, friends, and old routines can seem very dull after all the novelty and stimulation of your time abroad, despite how nice and cosy they are. Although it's normal to miss the thrill and difficulties of studying abroad, it's up to you to figure out how to get past these negative feelings. 

Find cultural venues you've never visited before, take up a new hobby, or spend a day experiencing your town as a tourist as ways to integrate your unique perspective into your old environment. If you're feeling bored abroad and missing your family and want to do something special for them, you can make money transfers to Zambia.

Nobody Wants To Hear

One thing is sure: No one will be as eager to hear about your exploits and victories when you return as you will be to share them. This isn't meant as a criticism of you or your accomplishments; instead, it's a reflection that after hearing the highlights, your friends or family will assume they've heard it all. 

Keep your adventure stories brief; in most cases, those who were present found them to be more fascinating. You might often discover that people who have travelled abroad can more easily relate to your experiences and are, therefore, more eager (or at least willing!) to hear your stories.

You Are Unable To Explain

Even if given a chance, it will be difficult to coherently describe all your experiences while studying abroad. No matter how sympathetic they are as listeners, explaining this kind of experience to people who do not share your worldview or travel history is very challenging. 

Your friends and family may not have a frame of reference when you tell them about your travels and experiences with various cultures, which makes the tale seem more abstract and less captivating than it was to you. A life element they would be familiar with, such as food, school, shopping, etc., should be incorporated into your stories.

Changes In Relationships

There will undoubtedly be some relationships with friends and family that have changed when you return. The people back home have probably changed in some ways, just as you have while you were away, changing some of your beliefs and attitudes. It is unrealistic to assume that there won't be any positive or negative changes. Flexibility, openness, lack of preconceptions, and cautious optimism are the best forms of preparation.

Reverse homesickness

Similar to how you probably missed home for a while after leaving the US, you probably will feel some "reverse" homesickness for the people, places, and things you grew accustomed to while studying abroad. You can somewhat lessen this by sending letters, making calls, and otherwise remaining in touch with people you meet. 

But the experience of feeling like you've lost something is a natural part of travelling abroad, so it's essential to accept and prepare for those feelings. But ACE is a money transfer service provider that will be with you even abroad, where you make an online money transfer to Zambia and in your home country. 

Inability To Put New Knowledge And Skills To Use

Many returnees find it frustrating that they cannot put their newly acquired social, linguistic, and practical coping skills to use because they seem pointless or irrelevant. The ability to adapt to reality as necessary, change what is useful, be resourceful, have patience, and, most importantly, use the cross-cultural adjustment abilities you developed abroad to help with your re-entry are all ways to avoid ongoing irritation. 

You will undoubtedly have opportunities to use the intercultural understanding you acquired, as it is a precious tool in this society.

Compartmentalizing Experience

Returnees frequently worry that being back home and dealing with the pressures of work, family, and friends will cause them to "lose" their experience and compartmentalize it like souvenirs or photo albums that are kept in a box and only occasionally taken out and looked at. You don't need to permit that to occur. 

Keep in contact with people. Speak with individuals who have had similar experiences to yours. Work on your abilities. Honour and recollect your efforts and the good times you had while travelling.

You might feel a little lost or out of place when you return to your country of origin. It might be the same emotion you experienced upon entering your host nation. Reverse culture shock is what you're going through. These emotions are transient and entirely normal. Developing coping skills is one of the best ways to help you get over reverse culture shock.

Bottom Line 

Even if you spent your formative years in that culture, it can take some time to acclimatize after studying abroad. It's okay if you're going through reverse culture shock; it's unquestionably real. Recognize that it will pass through its phases, and you will be able to move on. 

You can successfully navigate reverse culture shock using these strategies and a deeper comprehension of your experience, emerging more globally aware and eager to travel. If you're still living abroad and want to send money to Zambia online to your loved ones, then choose ACE Money Transfer. 


Will Life Remain Difficult After Studying Abroad?

The transition back home after studying abroad can be challenging. Still, with the right attitude and techniques, you can get through it and use your international experience to advance your career.

How Can You Integrate An International Experience Into Your Life?

You certainly can if you want to make travelling abroad a significant part of your life. Think about going to graduate school abroad or returning to study abroad. Additionally, there is a huge variety of international volunteer opportunities, language learning courses, and internships.

How to continue your study trip abroad? 

Consider looking into international internships to round out your college career, or opt to volunteer abroad while taking a break from classes. You are now prepared to handle it and all the emotions that come with going home, no matter what experience you decide to have next.

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