‘Reverse Culture Shock’ is a term given to a feeling of not fitting into your native country after being abroad for an extended time. Staying in a foreign country for long makes you too accustomed to its culture, customs, language, cuisine and people that it becomes difficult to make adjustments back home country.
From language adjustments to a simple visit to a nearby general store, ‘reverse culture shock’ can hit you in more ways than you would expect.
So how should you prepare for it? Well, the best preparation is to plan your return to home country before you actually leave for it.
Outlined below are some tips to help you overcome ‘reverse culture shock’:
Don’t be too immersed with your daily routine of waking up, going to office, coming back to home and sleep. Realize people probably will not take initiatives to come to you or reach out as you would want them to. Therefore be friendly with all, try to reach out to your old bosom buddies. They would love to hear about your other life and share what’s going in theirs. Expand your social network. Join community clubs, book clubs, sports leagues, and various other groups. Push yourself if you are of reserved nature. Remember the idiom, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but a friend sticks closer than a brother!”
Don’t lose your ‘Personal Space’
Spend some time with yourself. Ease back into the culture, which shouldn’t be too difficult as you’re already acquainted with it. Let go of apprehensions, anxiety, or any other things surrounding your mind at least for a few minutes a day and actually be there for yourself and listen to what you have to tell yourself. Understand your ‘whys’ and ‘whats’. Plan things accordingly.
Expect the unexpected:
A clever strategy to save yourself from the reverse culture shock is to expect the unexpected. Consider your trip back to your homeland as another adventure, just like the way you started the things from scratch when you moved abroad. Prepare yourself for at least one year adjustment period.
Though you have now left your host country, it should never be “out of sight, out of mind” thing. Be in touch with your friends and colleagues abroad. Share your re-entry experience with them. Continue cultural interactions by checking out on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. Now that you know how it feels to be at home and to experience a ‘not so’ new culture, you can help your foreign friends finding their way to their home country.
Take charge and accept that you’ve changed:
You need to take hold of your life once again and that too in a unique way.
Remind yourself what you’ve gained from the overseas experience and how you can put that knowledge to use in the best possible way. With the due course of time, repatriation shock and feelings of being out of step with a once familiar home environment will eventually pass if you take up the things positively.
Monster.com wishes you continuing success in the future.