The Reality of Life Post Studying Abroad

Headshot of Kim Blanco.
Kimberly Blanco
June 18, 2023
A picture of me with some of my closest friends on one our last days together.

After returning home after studying abroad for the past 4 months, it was definitely a weird transition. Read along to hear about my experience with life immediately following my time abroad.

Before getting home, I had heard that I might experience some reverse culture shock, but I honestly didn't think that this could be possible when returning to a place I had lived in for my entire life. I was wrong to assume that I wouldn’t be one of the many study abroad kids who have had this experience. It’s almost a little bit hard to explain, but life in Europe is simply just different from living in the US, no matter what state you live in. I have a lot less independence at home since I live with my parents, so this was definitely a big change for me too.

Something that I have noticed most since being home is that all I want to do is talk about my time abroad and all of my friends 24/7, but no one wants to hear about it as much as I want to talk about it. Of course my parents wanted to hear about my time and what I was doing, but while talking to my home friends, I kept noticing that I would always chime into whatever conversation was happening relating it to things I had done with my friends abroad. I realized this annoying habit and now talk about it much less, but honestly, it is easier said than done to just stop talking about something that was your entire life for the past 4 months.

Something else that is definitely a hard pill to swallow after getting back home is the fact that I don’t know for sure when the next time I’ll get to see my friends will be. This is super weird and difficult to wrap my head around because so many people that were total strangers to me have become my best friends and now know so much about me, even the more personal things. I now have friends all over the map and everyone is super busy over the summer with things like work, so it is difficult to coordinate a time when everyone can meet up. It's also weird that my friends from home will probably never meet my friends from abroad, just because of distance. I would love for my best friends from home that I’ve known forever to meet my new friends, but it just doesn’t seem super realistic.

Although I have been feeling a lot of negatives about being home, there definitely are some positives. One of the best things about being home is having a car again. I don’t have to worry about relying on public transportation every day, and its super easy for me to just hop in my car and drive myself wherever I need to go whenever I want to. 

I hope that this blog gave you a little bit of insight about what life might be like after studying abroad, although everyone's experiences are different. Thank you for following along on my study abroad adventures throughout the semester!

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Headshot of Kim Blanco.

Kimberly Blanco

Hi, I'm Kim! I truly feel that traveling is important in order to gain new experiences that can be used to ensure a successful professional life and personal life. Amsterdam is somewhere that I have never traveled before, so I was really excited when I saw that it was an option for me! Being able to travel around Europe while I am there seems super fun to me and this experience will definitely be one that I cherish forever! In my future, I hope to eventually work as a criminal psychologist. A fun fact about me is that I have been dancing since I was 2 years old and I am currently a part of a club dance team at Penn State University!

2023 Spring
Home University:
Penn State University
Criminal Studies
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