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Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

Old Sep 10th 2012, 8:08 am
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Default Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

Ive been living in the US for over a year and returned yesterday. I knew it would be difficult adjusting but Im having a really tough time. I keep closing my eyes and wishing Id wake up in America.

I love seeing my family again and I love England too its given me what I needed to succeed in life. It just isn't my home anymore, I don't feel comfortable here and I have no idea how im going to cope being back again, I feel like a foreigner in my own country.

Maybe its because im young - only just turned 21, that maybe this has had such a significant impact on me - sounds strange but I spent 5% of my life in the US which I guess is significant.

Do you guys have any advice for how to get through this? Im having a really tough time adjusting.
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 8:15 am
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Default Re: Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

Give it a few days. You've only be back a day. Perhaps at your age the difference of the recent past was all awe inspiring..as you suggest.
A week or two it will all be familar. Time to plan another trip to some other place then....you may well catch the travel bug though. Hard to find a cure for that....so be warned.
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 11:19 am
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Default Re: Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

Tell us a bit more about where you were and what you did over there?
A year is not a long time.
Were you working etc etc?
Where have you come back too? And what are you planning to do going forward?
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 1:43 pm
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Default Re: Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

Originally Posted by StormXibalba View Post
Ive been living in the US for over a year and returned yesterday. I knew it would be difficult adjusting but Im having a really tough time. I keep closing my eyes and wishing Id wake up in America.

I love seeing my family again and I love England too its given me what I needed to succeed in life. It just isn't my home anymore, I don't feel comfortable here and I have no idea how im going to cope being back again, I feel like a foreigner in my own country.

Maybe its because im young - only just turned 21, that maybe this has had such a significant impact on me - sounds strange but I spent 5% of my life in the US which I guess is significant.

Do you guys have any advice for how to get through this? Im having a really tough time adjusting.
Don't be too hard on yourself. Lots of people have reserves culture shock, it's very normal to experience what you are feeling right now. In some cases it's worse than the culture shock you may have experienced when you first move abroad, because in some ways you expect to feel like a fish out of water when you move, but not when you move back.

Try and treat it as if you have moved to a different country and give yourself some time to adjust. Each day will get a little easier, and try to focus on the positives of your new life.

This article in our Article section is almost 10 years old now, but you may find it helpful as the information still applies:
http://britishexpats.com/articles/mo...culture-shock/
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 2:07 pm
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Default Re: Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

Originally Posted by Sue View Post
Don't be too hard on yourself. Lots of people have reserves culture shock, it's very normal to experience what you are feeling right now. In some cases it's worse than the culture shock you may have experienced when you first move abroad, because in some ways you expect to feel like a fish out of water when you move, but not when you move back.

Try and treat it as if you have moved to a different country and give yourself some time to adjust. Each day will get a little easier, and try to focus on the positives of your new life.

This article in our Article section is almost 10 years old now, but you may find it helpful as the information still applies:
http://britishexpats.com/articles/mo...culture-shock/
Thanks, this looks like it will be a useful read.

To answer the other poster's questions, I was studying in the US for 9 months and then I worked for 3 and a half, I studied in southern California and worked in Texas. Had the time of my life and I really felt at home there, also my culture shock on arrival there was very minor, but here I feel depressed and almost panicky, I just have this desperate desire to go back.
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

I studied in Scotland for half a term, and I had some shock returning back home to the US. I think it's pretty normal. You've only been back a day or so, give yourself some time to get back into your routines. It probably took me at least a month or two to get used to being back, and I was overseas for a shorter period of time compared to yourself.

In the meantime, just enjoy telling all your friends about your adventures!
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Old Sep 10th 2012, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

Ive been living in the US for over a year and returned yesterday.
A day is no time at all to get adjusted, you really need to allow for a couple weeks at least before you listen too much to what you're feeling. Travel is hard, changing places is hard and time is necessary to adjust.

Had the time of my life and I really felt at home there, also my culture shock on arrival there was very minor, but here I feel depressed and almost panicky, I just have this desperate desire to go back.
Of course you had the time of your life, it was something brand new and exciting, a swift change from what you had known.
The feelings you're having are very normal and if you allow yourself time to adjust before thinking too much into things you will soon get back into the swing of things.

And if in a month or so you're still feeling the same way then plan another trip, you're young, now is the time to explore!
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Old Sep 13th 2012, 10:30 am
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Default Re: Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

Originally Posted by StormXibalba View Post
Ive been living in the US for over a year and returned yesterday. I knew it would be difficult adjusting but Im having a really tough time. I keep closing my eyes and wishing Id wake up in America.

I love seeing my family again and I love England too its given me what I needed to succeed in life. It just isn't my home anymore, I don't feel comfortable here and I have no idea how im going to cope being back again, I feel like a foreigner in my own country.

Maybe its because im young - only just turned 21, that maybe this has had such a significant impact on me - sounds strange but I spent 5% of my life in the US which I guess is significant.

Do you guys have any advice for how to get through this? Im having a really tough time adjusting.
A year is a bigger chunk of your life when you're 21, this is true. However, I lived in the US for 5 years (so 1/8th of my life) and, although I will admit there's a few things I miss (mostly extended family and cheap petrol), I haven't experienced anything like reverse cultureshock.

Give yourself a bit of a reality check though - take it from me, doing a bit of temporary work over there isn't really indicative of what day-to-day life is like there in the longer term, having to deal with horrible working conditions (ie, very little holiday allowance, long hours, at-will employment, etc), bills, property taxes, health insurance and so on - in my experience, life there is a lot more complicated and stressful than in the UK.
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Old Sep 13th 2012, 11:33 am
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Default Re: Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

You don't say why you've come back. Was it voluntary? Can you return to the US if you want?

I assume your circumstances have changed in other ways. Are you living with family now, rather than being independent.

Bev
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Old Sep 13th 2012, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

From what I know, people going through adolescence, let's say, 16-25 years old, are trying to find their identity, most certainly their cultural identity. I think you've settled in the US and felt that you belong there, formed social groups etc. And now that you're back in the UK, this has all been disrupted. I feel exactly the same now being back in the UK. My advice is, try to reform positive social groups that you will feel that you belong to, even if its the American Society at a University or whatever =) Once you have a more stable structure around you to blossom in, I think you'll feel more at home. Also find a way of succeeding in the UK, what career path do you want to take, for example. However, if you don't really want to be living in the UK any more and feel that the Us is where you should be, then take a chance and go back to the US. You only live once, and your happiness is the most important thing.
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Old Sep 14th 2012, 8:05 pm
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Default Re: Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

I lived in Taipei, Taiwan for 2 1/2 years and then Hong Kong for 2 1/2 years (of which I never visited the U.K.). Suprisingly enough I didn't suffer culture shock but when I moved back to the U.K. I did suffer reverse culture shock. The U.K. is very, very different to Asia and I moved to a new part of it with no friends or family just my fiance (now husband) who already lived here and we lived outside the town centre. I miss Hong Kong every day (my brother and his family still live there). We are now considering a move to Houston but I really don't think it will be such a massive difference to here - I think it will be a nice medium between where we live now and the city life in Asia.

It will ease but if you really prefer where you were you should consider trying to move back if you feel homesick for the place you lived. It will ease off but missing it might not go away (6 years on)
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Old Sep 14th 2012, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

I had the same experience when I returned home (Germany) from the US! It took me quite a while to settle and see the value of my home country. If you can't return to the US then try to stop glorifying it. Look at the really bad things in the US too. And remember, the US is probably more exiting and interesting to you because you haven't lived there for 21 years. I know many Americans who came to study in Berlin and fell in love with it! I was like "what??" You are from New York City. The most exciting city on earth and you think Berlin is more interesting more diverse and you wanna move here permanently?? Anyhow, now I don't miss the US anymore although when I go to visit I still feel at home. And that is what the US is for me a second home but I wouldn't want to live there anymore unless I had a lot of money.
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Old Sep 14th 2012, 9:33 pm
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Default Re: Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

Originally Posted by Bevm View Post
You don't say why you've come back. Was it voluntary? Can you return to the US if you want?

I assume your circumstances have changed in other ways. Are you living with family now, rather than being independent.

Bev
I have come back to finish my degree, so after I hope to return, but ill be 22, with a BA and only a little experience, itll be very difficult to get a work visa although not impossible.

Right now im home for a week before returning to university in England. I think my feelings may be slightly related to being home, but I have loved seeing my family although I hate my hometown, im hoping my feelings change when I go back to University.

Thanks for everyones advice. I think a lot of this has to do with my young age, and I dont know anyone who has done this so theres no one I can relate to and no one who understands how im feeling.
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Old Sep 14th 2012, 10:09 pm
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Default Re: Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

[QUOTE=KIRoftheKEL;10281362We are now considering a move to Houston but I really don't think it will be such a massive difference to here - I think it will be a nice medium between where we live now and the city life in Asia.[/QUOTE]

Honestly, I'd research this very carefully. UK to America is a HUGE culture shock - and I went to the East Coast. Texas is almost unimaginably different - and absolutely NOTHING like Asia. Don't jump from the frying pan into the fire without at least thoroughly understanding the Texan fire (everything driven by money or religion, government officials saying prayers on TV to solve crises, everyone you meet being conservative to the extreme, most people you know believing the President is a muslim terrorist etc.)

If that's your thing, you'll be fine but I see so many people make these kind of leaps without really understanding what they're getting into.
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Old Sep 14th 2012, 10:29 pm
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Default Re: Think I have Reverse Culture Shock

Originally Posted by sallysimmons View Post
Honestly, I'd research this very carefully. UK to America is a HUGE culture shock - and I went to the East Coast. Texas is almost unimaginably different - and absolutely NOTHING like Asia. Don't jump from the frying pan into the fire without at least thoroughly understanding the Texan fire (everything driven by money or religion, government officials saying prayers on TV to solve crises, everyone you meet being conservative to the extreme, most people you know believing the President is a muslim terrorist etc.)

If that's your thing, you'll be fine but I see so many people make these kind of leaps without really understanding what they're getting into.
I agree, I'm in California and Texas is a whole other world from here even. It's a world unto itself, different from the rest of the US too.
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