You will have lots of pictures to show and stories to tell when you return home to your family and friends. Be aware that you might also experience some “reverse” culture shock when you return. You will have discovered a lot of new things and you may have new perspectives and new interests. Your experience may have changed you!
Be patient with your friends and family who have not traveled abroad. They might have a limited attention span as you share your photos and stories. Sometimes it helps to share things in smaller doses.
You will likely have a special bond with your travel group. It’s good to get together and enjoy chatting about the experiences you had together.
Some groups plan gathering after their return to share photos and discuss favorite moments and memories.
Stay in touch!
Right away: Be sure to write a letter of thanks – from both you and your parents – to your host family (if you had one). Families are eager to hear that you returned safely and that their welcome was appreciated. This is a common courtesy and required of all L&F travelers.
End of year: Remember to send a holiday or New Year’s greeting to your host family
Periodically: Send a postcard or an email from time to time.
Other Ways to Extend your Experience:
- Sign up for the next level of language study.
- Watch movies in the language.
- Host a student from the country you visited or from another country! Learn more about the L&F Hosting Program.
Take some time before you travel to think about how you might answer these questions. Then come back to them after you return to help you process your experience.
- What generalities or stereotypes had you heard or thought about the country you visited before having gone on the program but have now changed your mind about?
- Is there anything from their lifestyle that you would like to see adopted by our society?
- Name at least three things that you often take for granted that you appreciate more after having been away from your home environment.
- In what ways has this program opened your mind or broadened your world view?
Congratulations on taking this step towards a better understanding of world cultures. We hope it is a rewarding experience and the beginning of a life-long love of languages and many new friendships!