University of California, Riverside

UCR Study Abroad - UC Educational Abroad Program

Returning Students Home

Returning Students

As You Return

When you return from studying or working abroad, you may be surprised to experience reverse culture shock. Just as you had a hard time adapting to your host country, you’ll have to get used to things in the U.S. Perhaps you left some new favorite places and hobbies behind. Maybe you fell in love with someone from your host country. Or perhaps you grew to enjoy your independence and the space you had to change in profound ways. Here are some tips to help you get with “re-entry”—adapting to the realities of home—once you return.

      • Be patient. As you were when you first got to your host country, be patient as you readapt at home. Realize you may feel disengaged from your friends at home. Remember that a lot changed for you while you were abroad. A lot may have changed for your friends at home, too. Most important, remember that you are not alone! Difficulty with re-entry happens to many students who return from studying or working abroad. In fact, this phase may be more challenging than the culture shock of moving to the host country.

    • Manage your expectations. Because you may miss your host country, you’ll be tempted to talk about your experiences with your friends and family members. Don’t take it personally if they are not as excited to hear about your experiences or don’t care. Remember that what you experienced abroad is truly your own and will have a tremendous impact on the rest of your life.
    • Talk to someone. If re-entry is too difficult to go through alone, talk to a counselor who can help you through whatever you’re feeling, whether it’s irritability, frustration or sadness.
      • Seek like-minded individuals. At home, look for ways you can enjoy the culture of your host country. Look for local groups who also have an affinity for your host country and have lived there themselves. You may even make new friends!

After You Return

      • Check in with the Study Abroad Office. Schedule an appointment with your study abroad advisor so they can update your contact info. Use this opportunity to share feedback about your program and overall experience.
      • Complete the Study Abroad Survey. Register on Abroad101 and complete our Study Abroad Survey.
        • Look for your transcripts. Confirm that you’ve received your overseas transcripts or order them if you haven’t.

      • Verify credit transfer. Make sure your overseas course credit is recorded in GROWL.
      • Check in with your academic advisor or department. Meet with your academic advisor or department about fulfilling your general education or department requirements after you’ve received overseas credit.
      • Sharing is caring! Help other UCR students experience what you’ve accomplished by getting involved. Submit photos and blogs to share with prospective students on website. Volunteer or work with the Study Abroad Office. Positions are available throughout the year. Look into the Global Opportunities Abroad Leader program.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

Education Abroad
0321 Surge Building

Tel: (951) 827-4113