Returning Home

Saying Goodbye & Reflecting

Returning Home


As you are finishing your educational experience abroad, we encourage you to prepare for your return home. In doing so, we encourage you to say goodbye and reflect on how you will feel about returning home.

Saying Goodbye

Many of us fail to say goodbye because it is our best intention to return again as soon as possible. However, intentionally saying goodbye not only allows you to psychologically prepare for your departure, but it also builds lasting relationships that may impact your future goals such as your personal, academic, and professional ones.  

  • Physically and/or verbally express your departure - this act may encourage you to also develop a plan for staying in touch.


We encourage you to take a moment to record how you feel about leaving your host country.

  1. In what ways have I changed?
  2. In what ways might my friends and family have changed?
  3. How would I like my family and friends to treat me when I return home?
  4. What am I looking forward to the most? The least?
  5. What are the lessons I have learned that I never want to forget?
  6. What are some skills I have learned?
  7. Many say that re-entry shock is more challenging than initial culture shock. What are some things I might do to make this transition easier?
  8. What have been the most important things about this study abroad experience that I want to share with family and friends?
  9. What do I do with the experiences I've had (e.g., continue studying the language)?

Be prepared to experience some level of Reverse Culture Shock upon your return home.