Discussion Question: What was the hardest part about reconnecting with friends and family members?Share two experiences with the person next to youThe more you adapted to your host country, the longer your adjustment back to the U.S. will takeTypically six months to fully adjust
It’s never enough to say “it was great!”Triple threat: doesn’t overwhelm the person you’re talking to, gives you a chance to share more than “great!”, and piques the person’s curiosity to ask you questions about your trip
What type of listener are you?
Niesen, Reentry Workshop
Re-entry Shock and Relationships: Reconnecting with Friends and Family After Your Study Abroad (and Beyond) Caroline Niesen, MA Instructor & Advisor firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting Acquainted • Share your: – Host country – Length of stay – Favorite food you ate while abroad
Overview and Goals for Today • Discuss re-entry shock and its impact on you and your support network • Learn about effective communication strategies • Connect with others who have studied abroad to share experiences
Communication & Relationships • Oftentimes re-entry is an internalized struggle • One expects coming home to be a positive experience • Free Write Exercise: – When I returned home I was disappointed with __________ because… – Share responses after a full 5 minutes of writing
It’s Normal To... • Feel sad, lost, socially withdrawn, and disinterested • Be dissatisfied with your life at home in comparison to abroad • Want to talk about your experience profusely • Feel neglected by friends and family • …feel none of the above
Severity of Shock Depends On…• Age• Sex• Length of time abroad• Cultural distance• Previous abroad experience• Disposition• Communication style• Knowledge of re-entry shock
“How Was Your Trip!?”• List of 3 Key Anecdotes: Compiling Experiences – Write down 3 things you learned, experienced, or found fascinating – Turn to someone next to you and ask ―How was your trip!?‖ – Share your responses – Switch roles
Re-Entry Shock & Communication • Communication = essence of understanding your experience • Friends/family want to hear about your experiences…to a point • Friends/family changed while you were gone, too • Sharing is a two-way street
It’s a Give and Take… • Giving is part of communication • Giving=listening • What type of listener are you? • Listening Styles Profile – Fill out the survey based on your initial reactions – Tabulate scores – Where do you rank highest? – If you’re a time, action, or content listener…time to readjust to others
Communication Strategies • You’ve changed. It’s inevitable. • Make friends here today as allies to talk study abroad. • Speak up! Friends and family may not know you are struggling. • Share your experiences in a public forum—present to a local school, do a community presentation, or organize a poster session on campus. • Create a club on campus for past, current, and future study abroaders.
Now You Know…• Your struggles with adjustment (or lack thereof) are normal• It will get better! Adjusting is a constant life process, not just in re-entry• Condensing your experience to 3 key anecdotes is beneficial• Talking with others about your struggles is HEALTHY, so speak up!• Listening is an essential part of relationships