When you first arrived in the UK, you may have experienced culture shock. New surroundings, a new environment, new traditions, etc., can leave you feeling disoriented and isolated.
The same is true when you return to your home country – you can experience reverse culture shock. After spending anywhere up to 3 or 4 years in the UK, you have become accustomed to English ways, English traditions, your new expatriate life, in ways you may not even realize.
Readjusting to life at home can be extremely difficult and frustrating. Take things one day at a time. As they did in your time abroad, things will get easier with time. Try to focus on the positives of being back home. Everything from home that you’ve missed during your time abroad is available to you again!
Some students choose to keep mementos when they return home. Something small that you can carry with you is nice to have with you as a reminder of your experiences. It can also serve as a reminder that you can always go back.
After returning home, you can combat culture shock by putting your new global knowledge, experience, and intercultural skills to work. Colleges are historically great places for social, ecological, peace, and political movements to root. Being surrounded by young, driven, like-minded people is a highly conducive environment for initiating change. Use your new-found take on life to make your world a better place, wherever that is.
The degree and severity of this shock will also depend on what country you are from. The good news is that the US and many parts of Europe have similar cultures to the UK so the shock may not be severe.