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Returning study abroad students may face everse culture shock

December 7, 2011

When students choose to study abroad, they are typically prepared to enter into a new, unfamiliar territory. In fact, experiencing a different culture is a major part of pursuing education in another country, but one thing students don't often take into account is coming home. The Wesleyan Argus reports that the period of adjustment students go through after completing a semester or a year abroad called, "reverse culture shock," is rarely addressed, but students should be aware of it before they travel to foreign countries.

"Outbound students expect to face culture shock as they adapt to a new society, a new pedagogy, new norms and expectations," Carolyn Sorkin, Wesleyan University's director of the Office of International Affairs, explained to the news publication. "Returnees from study abroad, on the other hand, don't always think about the fact that they will be coming back to a community that has continued to evolve in their absence, or that friends and family will have to adjust to how the students have grown and changed during their time abroad."

One way for students to avoid reverse culture shock can be to call home with international phone cards. This way they will be able to stay in touch with what is happening in their home country, while still fully immersing themselves in another culture.

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