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Tips for Adjusting

One of the best ways to ease the effects of reverse culture shock involves preparation and expectation. Don’t assume you can just step back into your old habits and routines. Give yourself time; don’t expect to readjust in a matter of days, weeks or even months. But gradually, you will notice that the effects of reverse culture shock don’t feel quite as overwhelming as they did at first.

Get in contact with other students who studied in the U.S. Spend time talking about your experiences and how you feel. Someone who can relate and wants to talk about your similar experiences can help compensate for those who don’t seem interested. Connecting with others who have done what you’ve done also reminds you that everyone goes through this adjustment to some degree or other.

Try to remember what coping skills worked well for you when you went to the U.S. and try putting them into practice as you readjust to life back at home. Instead of criticizing the differences and constantly comparing, respect both cultures without having to label one as better or worse than the other. Recognize and appreciate how things differ, but focus on the positive instead of bringing yourself down with negative comparisons.

And now that you have experienced how culture shock feels, perhaps you can help prepare and/or empathize with others who plan to study in the U.S. or have come from somewhere to study in your country.

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