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How to Prepare

So, how can a returning student prepare for life back home?

Thinking through potential stressful situations and specific challenges can help the student prepare for actual events before they occur. Examining changes in personal values and attitudes since leaving home can help to prepare the student for potential areas of tension. The experience of living abroad will change the student’s perspective of his/her own culture. Once back home, the returnee should take advantage of opportunities to share their international experiences with those who express interest. This offers a chance to learn about how things have changed in the home country, as well as to discover how the overseas experience could benefit the community back at home.

While overseas, the international student should make every effort to stay in touch with family and friends back home, asking lots of questions to stay updated. They should also take advantage of every opportunity to talk with others from their home countries who have returned home after living abroad. Questions can cover topics ranging from changes in the country’s economy, politics and social conditions to issues that caused problems for them when they returned home.

International students should think about their own expectations as they prepare to return home. They can anticipate experiences, and think about ways to serve their own people and country with what they have learned abroad. Some aspects of life back home might be able to change, but the student might not have any control over other things. The saying goes that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. Attitude can make the difference between success and failure during the re-entry period. The returning student should stay positive and humble, and focus on making the most of the people and opportunities around them.


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