Your global experience does not end the moment you return to American soil. It will take weeks, months—even years—to process and internalize your time abroad. Sometimes, this processing can lead to “reverse culture shock.” But even if re-entry is somewhat painful and uncomfortable emotionally, it is important to capitalize on the things you’ve learned, the experiences you’ve encountered, and your personal growth. Maybe you are now more compelled to take on a leadership role on campus; maybe you want to pursue a particular internship or a new minor; maybe your global experience has sparked a new research interest; or maybe you now have a clearer idea of what career you want to pursue. This section offers insight into how to maximize the long-term impact of a global experience.


Natsuko Sawaya, 2017, Chapel Hill, NC.