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. The Study Abroad office at UEA is a fantastic resource for your return, as is Careers Central. 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 (AMA)
Study Abroad Ambassador – Outgoing