Coming home can be hard

Have you ever studied abroad? Come share your experience at a study abroad workshop April 18 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Koinonia House.

This informational workshop is aimed at students who have studied abroad and are re assimilating into U.S. culture. This workshop will be a space that allows student to share their stories and experiences.

Albertina Dubrawsky, is putting on this event to encourage students to talk about their overseas experiences and how those experiences changed their world view.”As a result of living in another culture you fundamentally change,” Dubrawsky said. “You see your own culture in a different light.”

While students study abroad, things change back home and the students themselves change. Overseas, their surroundings, both physical and cultural, were different. Returning students may find that they are different.

Experts call this phenomenon “re-entry shock” or “reverse culture shock.”Dubrawsky acknowledges that adjusting back to school and to your life back home is challenging.

“It is unexpected to adjust back to your own culture, home is supposed to be familiar,” Dubrawsky said.

Dubrawsky, herself, studied abroad for two years in Freiburg, Germany. She said that she wished there was something like this workshop to help her readjust to home.

Dubrawsky said there is a lot preparation for students before they leave to study abroad, but nothing for when the students return.

Studying abroad is no longer for the intellectual and financial elite. Even though less than 10 percent of U.S. students study abroad, the numbers are growing.As more and more students are choosing to study abroad, workshops like this one will be in great demand. In the last four years the number of U.S. students studying abroad has increased over 45 percent.

According to the International Institute for Education, 113,956 U.S. students studied abroad during the 1998-1999 academic school year. That number was an increase of 14 percent from the previous year.

Dubrawsky, a communication studies graduate student, is conducting this workshop as her graduate student project.

The workshop will be very casual and informal and food will be served. The event is sponsored by the Study Abroad Office.