Reverse Culture Shock

Reverse Culture ShockJust as you had to make cultural adjustments while studying in Australia, you’ll most likely have to readjust once you get back home.

Most students don’t anticipate feeling like a foreigner in their own home, but reverse culture shock is extremely common and normal.

Experiencing another culture can have a great impact on your values and the way that you view the world. The experience of studying abroad will change you and you may feel like a different person when you return home. People constantly change and grow, and in the period that you have been away your friends and family may have changed as well. It is totally normal to feel out of the loop.

Some of the emotions that you may feel when experiencing reverse culture shock are:

  • Confusion
  • Frustration
  • Restlessness
  • Boredom
  • Uncertainty
  •  Insecurity
  • Tiredness
  • Lack of motivation
  •  Reverse homesickness – missing people and places from Australia
  •  Feeling alienated or withdrawn
  •  Feeling negativity towards your own culture’s behaviour  
Fitting back into your society may seem like a challenge, but it is an exciting one! It is a new chapter in your life and you have grown, changed and learnt so much.  You will need to give yourself time to adjust, but remember that some of your family, friends and colleagues may also need some time to adjust to the changes you’ve experienced.

Here are a few tips on how to overcome this reverse culture shock:

  • Be patient and sensitive to other people's feelings and behaviour. Give yourself some time to get to know your family and friends again
  • Try to reconnect with home before you return. Think about all the good things that you missed doing.
  • Stay in touch with the friends you made in Australia and share all your experiences about returning home. Most of them will be going through the same thing that you are.
  • Write down your thoughts and feelings in a diary or journal
  • Get involved in cultural or international activities in your community
  • Stay connected to the world through online news networks and newspapers
  • Seek out people in your community who have had similar experiences to you and share your stories
  • Be flexible and show respect for the way things are done in your country