Reverse Culture Shock

You expected culture shock when you studied abroad. You expected to be baffaled by the customs of your new home. You expected to question the locals behavior. Culture shock when you study abroad is a given, but you never expected to experience culture shock when you returned.

How is it even possible to feel culture shock in the only culture, up until a few months ago, you’ve ever known? You grew up in this culture, it’s ingrained in you. So why, does it feel so out of place and strange after only being gone for a couple of months?

All of sudden you start questioning things you used to think were completely normal. It takes a little bit of time to get used to the things you used to not even have to think about. And, there may be some things you will never readjust to. Here are just a few ways you know you’re dealing with reverse culture shock.

  1. When you walk into a restaurant, coffee shop, etc. you start going over your order in a foreign language until you remember they speak English shm1
  2. Your stomach is so confused by your new feeding schedule “why am I eating dinner while the sun is still up?”
  3. You try to walk out of a bar with your drink before you remember open container laws are a thing here wsod
  4. You try to get into a bar before you realize the drinking age here is 21 and it’s actually enforcedW28tx6T
  5. You instinctively say “grazie”, “merci”, or “gracias” when accepting your starbucks drink from the barista- then turn bright red, mutter “sorry”, and run out of that place emb1
  6. You’re absolutely perplexed when you order a medium soda and receive 32oztumblr_np5ho2HBFC1qehu0oo3_400
  7. You still get surprised when you can read all the signs, headlines, and directions you come across tumblr_murytdV03k1s8d8uno2_500
  8. You show up to work 15 minutes late forgetting about that European grace periodtumblr_np2r9kE6Ns1rkj1zco1_500
  9. Now that you can understand what people are saying on TV you can ditch those silly books and get back to reality TV…..Kidding! (kind of)downloadHere’s hoping the adjustment period for reverse culture shock ends soon giphy
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How to Spot a Study Abroad Student Back in the States

We post-study abroad students can get kind of a bad rap and it’s not completely illegitimate. We have a tendency to come back to “the states” and talk endlessly about our experience, the friends we’ve made, and the places we’ve visited. We’re just really excited about it, okay? We can’t help but all cope with crushing depression that comes with the end of a semester abroad in the same way. And here are just 10 of the acts we’re all guilty of committing when we return.

  1. Getting a compass tattoo somewhere on your body or at least talking about getting one
  2. Constantly stalking yourself on Instagram because your posts will never be as good as they were when you were abroad 
  3. Comparing everything in America to how it was abroad and being mind blown over Americafrustrated
  4. Telling anyone who will listen that you just got back from living abroadirdc
  5. Starting almost every sentence with “When I was living in Europe…”blrg
  6. Referring to America as “The States” tumblr_lnrgavypOv1qh61jao1_500
  7. Making post-grad plans to move to Europe permanentlyvhg
  8. Refusing to eat ice-cream because it just doesn’t compare to gelatotumblr_mqippwsIHr1s4itd1o1_500
  9. Sharing every mundane detail of your life abroad to people who don’t really careYbIQ9y1
  10. Randomly tearing up when you remember it’s all overanigif_enhanced-buzz-306-1379539185-6

If you’re friends with someone that just studied abroad, take pity on us and try to have some patience; we’ll get over it eventually (I hope). And if you’re someone who just returned, stick to talking about your experience with other people who’ve studied abroad because they’re the only ones who will understand.

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