A lot of people say college is the best four years of your life...but what about the best semester? For quite a few students, this is the semester that they study abroad. You're immersed in a new culture with different foods, people and daily norms. Many students claim that this is a "life-changing experience" for them. "Reverse culture shock" is a phenomenon used to describe what it is like to return home after being away for a significant amount of time. What can be hardest about reverse culture shock is that you don't expect it. When you go abroad, you expect that everything will be new and different. However, the process of returning home can be just as much of an adjustment. Let Gossip Girl enlighten you (as it always does) on what kinds of emotions you'll go through when you return home.
This stage occurs during the last couple days or weeks before you've returned home. You start realizing that you will soon have to say goodbye to the friends you've made abroad and maybe your host family.
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2. Initial Euphoria.
This stage occurs right when you come back home. Chances are that you've missed your family and friends a lot when you were away - and now you can finally see them again and catch up. The length of this stage varies. It ends when you come to realize that your family and friends are not quite as interested in your abroad experience as you thought or hoped they would be.
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3. Irritability and Anger.
This is the most unpleasant stage, and it is actually pretty similar to the culture shock you experienced when you first arrived in your foreign study abroad location. Feelings of loneliness and depression are not uncommon, as you realize that you are not the same person you were before you left. You see many things in a different light, and that can require some getting used to.
This is the final stage. You've been home for a while, and although things are not exactly the same as when you left, you're okay with that. You start settling into a new routine and you are able to incorporate the new attitudes, beliefs and experiences you had abroad into your life back at home.
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