Student Hub

Find out what happens when you return from studying abroad.

Your experience

The main task of the Global Mobility team after your study placement is to convert your marks, but we also want to hear from you about your experiences. We often organise debriefing meetings and workshops to help you articulate what you have learned from your year or semester abroad.

Advice for future students

To help us advise each group of students, we ask those returning to fill in a student-to-student report. This will include advice for future students, such as modules studied, accommodation, cost of living and socialising.

We also make sure outgoing students are put in touch with returning students (where permission has been given), allowing them to share valuable insights.

Reverse culture shock

Upon your return, you may experience what's called 'reverse culture shock'.

Typical symptoms are:

  • initial euphoria (possibly followed by disappointmentand ‘flatness’)
  • criticism of the way things are done back home
  • feeling restless, sadness, frustration, isolation
  • feeling like a stranger at home
  • a longing to go back abroad.

This is common and feelings can differ from one person to another. This process will be similar to the culture shock you may have experienced when you first went abroad, only in reverse.

It can take some time to re-adjust to home. The coping skills and strategies that helped you to adjust to your host culture will be just as useful when coming home.

Tips for adjusting to coming home

  1. You may find it helpful to create a travel goal, either for work or holiday.
  2. Try something new, including international societies and clubs on campus.
  3. Keep in contact with friends made abroad.
  4. Talk to friends family about your feelings.
  5. Look out for seminars run in October/November by Careers and Employability Centre (CEC) for returning students, to learn about how to maximise their study abroad experience.
  6. Share your experience of study abroad in fun ways, like taking part in international food evenings on campus.
  7. Make friends with an incoming exchange or international student, and help them settle in at Sussex. The Student Union runs a Buddy Scheme, matching Sussex students with incoming international and study abroad students.

See more from Studying abroad