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Returning to the U.S.

Re-entry - Strategies for Personal/Emotional Re-entry

Share: Make time to show your pictures to others who are interested. Create a photo album with a manageable number of photos to share with others.
Plan: Create a re-entry action plan based on the following statement: I plan to do the following in order to prepare for and deal with the personal/emotional stress I may face upon my return home…
Be aware of the possible challenges of re-entry. Discuss these challenges with your group prior to departure.
Reflect on your time off-campus (i.e. keep a journal of your thoughts, ideas, questions, etc). Here are some possible questions to help you reflect on your overall experience:

- What did a typical day look like for you?
- What was the experience life for you? What was easy? What was hard? What helped you to learn or grow the most?
- Where did you travel and what did you do outside of work/school?
- How did you connect with individuals and groups from the host country?
- I definitely do not want to forget: What made me laugh out loud? What brought tears to my eyes? My biggest cultural gaffe? My biggest cultural success?
- What are three to five things that you enjoyed most about studying abroad?
- What were three to five things that were most difficult while you were abroad?
- What are the lessons you have learned that you never want to forget?
- What are two or three things that you learned about yourself through this experience?
- What new insights did you have about your place in today’s global community?
- What are two or three questions (if any) about the experience that you are still struggling with related to yourself as an individual?
- What are two or three important things about this experience that you want to share with family and friends?
- How could you bring some closure to this experience (photo journal, letter to myself, a presentation to others, etc)?
- What are some skills that you learned?
- What are three recommendations you would make to a fellow student who was going to have a similar experience next year?

Identify others you can talk to upon your return.
Join a support group or talk to someone in the Broene Counseling Center to help you sort out your feelings as you return.
Serve as a contact or resource for future students who are interested in studying off-campus or embarking on similar experiences.
Acknowledge how the experience has changed you. Be open to continuing this journey as you return.
Take the time for closure both with your host country friends and family and with the students who shared the experience with you.