Source: IES Abroad
Returning home after studying abroad can be unexpectedly challenging and difficult. This re-entry period is referred to as Reverse Culture Shock. Life back home after an intense time living abroad will require some adjustment. Even though you haven’t really left NC State, you have deeply immersed yourself in the Czech culture, grown your independence. Your cross-cultural experience may have changed your perspectives, world views and values. As much as you have changed, your home also has changed. Some of you may not find it hard to return, and some might experience various stress levels. This experience, as your study abroad experience in Prague, will be unique to you. Do not hesitate to reach out to NC State Prague staff for support.
Re-adjusting to being back home is a slow process spanning from a few weeks to several months. The most important is to give yourself the time to go through it.
Below are resources to prepare yourself for re-entry and help you to cope with readjusting with being back home:
You are now a Prague Alumni!
Your cultural learning journey did not end with your return to the US. There are many ways to stay connected to your experience in Prague while still moving forward:
Cook your favourite Czech Dish
Food is a great way to share your Prague experience and memories. Cook your favourite Czech meal for your family and friends. You can also add Czech traditions to your yearly rituals, painted eggs at Easter for example.
Keep your Czech Language Going
Some of you started the DuoLingo app before coming to Prague, keep it going. Carry on with it!
Stay Socially Engaged with NC State Prague
Go Abroad Again
Why not go abroad again? There are many opportunities to do internships, grade level programs abroad. If you are ready for a big jump, you can return to Prague and do a postgraduate degree at a Czech university or come to work!
Catherine Chaney spent a semester in Prague as a student in Spring 2014. Five years later, Catherine returned to Prague, this time to work in an international school. She stayed over two years before returning to the US due the pandemic. Check out Catherine’s story.
Take Time to Reflect and List your New Competencies
While in Prague you have gained plenty of marketable competencies. Which skills did you develop while finding your way around Prague and mastering the local public transport – flexibility, maturity, and initiative? Did you improve your Czech while shopping for groceries? Listing your new and improved skills will boost your confidence.
Add NC State Prague to your LinkedIn profile in the Education section, highlight the classes you took and your new competencies (see example below).
Be a Multicultural Person
Seek out situations in which your international experiences and perspectives will be valued. You can be involved in helping out on international events on campus, in Study Abroad fairs, and many others.
Make your Resume Shine
Highlighting your new competencies and articulating concrete examples in your resume will set you apart from the crowd. It probably sounds easy but can get tricky when getting down to it.