You’re finally home! You’re feet have finally step foot back into the States and after spending so much time abroad, the day you never thought would come has finally arrived. Back to the day-to-day life you once lived. Who says that’s how it’s supposed to be though?
1. Don’t be that student!
Your family and friends have been waiting for your return and it won’t be long until you are bombarded with hugs and questions. You’re about to burst with all of the stories of your experiences abroad. Over the next couple of weeks everyone will insanely jealous of you and your new-found wanderlust; however, it won’t last. As time goes on, so does everyone else’s lives. You’ll find yourself daydreaming about kebabs or gelato and then next thing you know, you’ve missed your entire friend’s story. Just because you were exploring the European countryside or the African savannah doesn’t mean that you’re family and friend’s lives came to a halt. Remember that everyone from home wasn’t abroad with you and that their lives continued and are just as important as yours.
2. Stay connected with your new friends!
Once back home, you’ll find yourself thrown back into your typical day-to-day life. From running errands to going to class, but don’t let that stop you from staying connected with your friends from abroad. Shoot them a text or even Skype chat once in awhile. Just because you’re not together every moment anymore doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. Use each other as a shoulder to lean on when reminiscing about your host families.
3. Time to revamp the resume!
Now that you’re home, you’re once again reminded on how badly you need a job. Don’t forget to edit your resume before handing it in with your next job application. You gained so many life experiences that are unique to the study abroad student. Not only did you interact with so many new and diverse cultures, but you also were goal-oriented and responsible enough to complete such a long and important program.
4. Apply what you’ve learned abroad!
Just because you are back in the states does not mean that everything has to go back to the way that it was. Being immersed in another culture, one can definitely see the differences between the lifestyle that we are used compared to others. Use the new cultural habits that you learned abroad at home. Why not try and use less electricity or what about spending more time at meals? While trying to live greener might not be your biggest priority, enjoying good company might be.
Sam Culp is a senior at the University of Kentucky studying Economics and History. She participated in the UK Consortia program KIIS Austria in the summer of 2015.