For many international students, studying abroad is a dream come true. It’s a chance to explore a new culture, gain new experiences, and expand their horizons. However, for many who won’t be working abroad, returning home after studying away can be just as challenging as the experience of moving to a foreign country.
The process of reintegration can be overwhelming, and many students struggle to find their place in their home country after experiencing such a significant transformation while studying abroad.
Common Reintegration Struggles International Students Related To.
For international students who are preparing to return home after studying abroad, it’s important to be aware of the potential reintegration struggles they may face.
Reverse culture shock
Just as students experience culture shock when they first move to a foreign country, they may also experience reverse culture shock when they return home. The familiarity of home can be disorienting after being away for a significant period of time, and students may find themselves feeling like a stranger in their own country.
Difficulty reconnecting with friends and family
Relationships can change while students are away, and it can be difficult to pick up where they left off with friends and family back home. Students may feel like they’ve grown and changed while their loved ones have stayed the same, leading to a sense of disconnect.
International students may face unique challenges when trying to enter the job market back home, such as a lack of relevant job opportunities or difficulty translating their international experience into marketable skills.
Will It Always Be Difficult After Studying Abroad?
Returning home after studying abroad can be a difficult transition, but with the right mindset and strategies, it’s possible to navigate the reintegration process and leverage your international experience in your career.
Staying connected with the international community
While it’s important to reconnect with friends and family back home, it’s also important to maintain connections with the friends and colleagues that became family while studying abroad. Staying connected with this international community can help international students feel less isolated and provide a sense of support during the reintegration process.
Staying engaged in activities that align with acquired international interests
If feelings of disconnection emerge from the home country, staying engaged in activities that align with international interests can help feel more connected and provide a sense of purpose. This could include attending cultural events or volunteering with organizations that work on international issues.
Seeking out career resources and mentorship
Finding a mentor or seeking out career resources can help navigate the unique challenges of entering the job market back home. Organizations like the university or business school’s career center or local networking groups may be able to provide helpful guidance and advice.
Professionally leveraging the international experience
While reintegration can be a challenge, it’s important to remember that international experience is a valuable asset in a career. The experience of studying abroad has likely given students a unique perspective and skills that can set them apart from other job candidates.
When applying for jobs, it remains important to highlight this international experience and the skills gained while studying abroad. This could include language skills, cross-cultural communication skills, and adaptability.
EMLV understands that the transition into the workforce can be challenging, especially for international students. That’s why it offers ongoing support to graduates, even after they leave our campus. From job search resources and networking opportunities to alumni events, it’s committed to helping its international students succeed in their careers. EMLV believes that its relationship with its students doesn’t end at graduation, and it’s always here to offer guidance and support as they navigate the professional world.
It’s a challenge, but nothing that brave international students can’t overcome!
Learn more about being an international student in Paris