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Returning Home

Welcome home and congratulations on successfully completing what we hope has been one of the most enriching and exciting periods of your undergraduate career! The Study Abroad & Exchange Office would love to hear from you, see your photos, and learn about your adventures abroad.

One of the hardest things about coming home is the fact that you are no longer overseas. Your return will be full of ups and downs as you readjust to life in the U.S. Be patient and give yourself some time.

Now that you're back, your education abroad experience doesn't have to end. There are several ways to stay international on campus. Use the resources below to learn how to articulate your experience in order to help you start your career. We encourage you to use these resources to keep your international experience alive.

Reverse Culture Shock

How a student experiences reverse culture shock can depend on many factors, such as length of time away, previous travel abroad, and frequency of communication with loved ones back home. There are several common challenges students face when returning home...and Reverse Culture Shock typically has 3 phases: 

1

Honeymoon

During this phase you are excited to be home, and your friends and family are interested to hear about your time abroad and see photos. 

2

Alienation

In this stage you'll feel that people would rather talk about what happened to them while you were away rather than listen to your stories. You may begin to feel bored with your familiar environment or like a foreigner in your own home.

3

Graduate Readjustment

Gradually, you will readjust to being home. The shock of returning does dissipate with time and patience.

Entry Re-Adjustment

One way to ease the re-entry process is to get engaged in international activities at UNC (see below for ideas), consider studying abroad again, or use your skills and experiences gained to pursue other international opportunities post graduation.