When you go abroad, everyone always tells you about reverse culture shock. I always thought that was going to be the worst part of coming back, it wouldn’t be the culture shock going to Italy, it will be the sadness when I got back from Italy. So, when I got back to Jersey in July I was surprised when I slipped right back to my home routine. Now, don’t get me wrong I missed Siena and my daily caffe latte but being home was nice after being away for 6 months. So, July and August went by without a hitch and then I moved back into school.
As it turns out, no one tells you about how hard it is to get back into the swing of things in the academic world. My last semester had been spent going to class and then going home or hanging out in the piazza. I didn’t have hours of homework and my free time was just that, free time. So, in August as I sat in a meeting talking about all my responsibilities I was shocked. I just didn’t want to do anything. In Italy I loved leaving class and going to read in the piazza or getting my gelato snack. Being abroad had allowed me to take a breath and a break from everything that I have to do when I’m in the States. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all the volunteering and extra stuff I have going on at school, but sometimes there’s so much! And it took me a while to get back into that, let me tell you.
Don’t worry, it gets better as the semester progresses, but boy did it get me. What helped me were the hundreds (ok maybe dozens) of pictures I put up on my wall (all of Italy) and my roommates. I also stay in touch with all of my friends from abroad and I know that they went through the same thing that I did. I loved my time abroad and so coming back was difficult not just because of the work but also because of the great time I had there. So, sometimes I have this ‘college shock’ but I get through it. And it helps that I’m definitely going back this summer. So don’t worry too much about the culture shock and reverse culture shock, but definitely look out for that college shock.
I studied abroad in Siena Italy for the Spring of 2015. My experience was wonderful and I couldn’t have been happier with my choice. I am very excited to start sharing my experiences with everyone!