How to Cope With Culture Shock After a Trip Abroad

Traveling abroad can give you a major shift of opinion about your own home surroundings and activities, and knowing how to cope with culture shock after a trip abroad can be a major obstacle if you experienced significant personal growth and/or spent a long time away from home. You've had a very unique experience that may require some adjustment time before you're back in your normal routine, and you will have to realize that not everyone may be empathetic to what you are going through.


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    Start by thinking about your personal health.
    • Eat well, and get plenty of rest so that your body can stay healthy and stave off any illnesses caused by a run-down immune system.
    • Readjust your sleep schedule so that you return to sleeping around a schedule based on local time.
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    Look at things or use things that remind you of your time abroad to help bring back fun and exciting memories. Often times these items can make for wonderful conversation pieces.
    • Display trinkets from your travels around your home. These could include such items as statues, rugs, table displays or something as simple as a Christmas ornament that you hang on your tree.
    • Wear items such as scarves, pins or other adornments that remind you of your trip abroad.
    • Don't hesitate to bring up the item or items that you are wearing or displaying in a conversation. This will give you an excuse to chat about your time abroad as well as share useful insight on the trip that may help the person that you are speaking to empathize with any feelings of longing to return to that state of being abroad.
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    Be honest with your family if you think you will need time to decompress from a trip and readjust yourself.
    • While homecoming celebrations may be exciting for the people hosting them, they may be overwhelming for the person at the center of attention. So, use caution if family members want to throw a big celebration in your honor upon returning home. Suggest something instead that is a week or two into your return home, or suggest something on a smaller or more intimate level so that it does not overwhelm you.
    • Share your feelings with close family members or friends, and explain why you are feeling the emotions that you do. Have a dialogue and see what that person suggests, and at the very least, get the emotions off your chest with someone that you care about and trust.
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    Be realistic with your schedule. Give yourself time to rest and get caught up before you schedule too many appointments with friends.
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    Enjoy the things that you missed while you were away. Take a hot shower, lavish sleeping in your own bed and eat your favorite foods. Use these all as tools to help you appreciate being home.


  • Don't talk negatively about your home life or own culture upon return from abroad. No matter how much better you think life was when you were abroad, focus on the positive instead of casting a negative light on anything from home. Disparaging remarks may cause unintentional hurt feelings.

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Categories: Travel