About halfway into my study abroad program at the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL) I had a panic. In America I was having the time of my life, travelling, meeting people from all over the world, and discovering so much about myself, but then it hit me: I would have to go back to England. So after 11 months, 15 states, and countless wonderful people, I got on that plane that would take me back ‘home’. Reverse culture shock hit me far harder than culture shock. When you’re away everything is a new experience, but when you’re home it’s what you’re used to, and if you’re thriving on the adventure it’s a shock to the system for those new experiences to suddenly stop.
When I got back to UEA I was given a piece of advice that I’ve found invaluable; if you want to go away again, organise it now, harness the feeling that you’re not in the right place and do something about it. The Study Abroad Office at UEA is a fantastic resource for your return, as is CareerCentral. During my first and second years I didn’t use the resources that UEA has, but I’m using them all now. Look at Erasmus+ and Global Opportunities for internships, volunteering, or advice for postgraduate study globally. Learn a language, attend events for incoming international students or join societies. Like the year abroad, your time back in Norwich is what you make it and your final year at university is a time to use all the resources available to you.
Now, I’m working with the Study Abroad Office at UEA as an ambassador for the outgoing team. I get to talk to students about why they should study abroad and help them with the practical side of the application process. I had the time of my life in America, so if even in the smallest way I can help facilitate someone else’s period abroad or convince someone that they should go, then coming back to Norwich was worth it, even if it has been a hard adjustment.
Jasmine Daze studies Film and American Studies and is the 2016/17 Outgoing Study Abroad Ambassador
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