Is the End Just the Beginning? The Study of the Effect of Reverse Culture Shock on American Students When They Return Home From a Semester Long Study Abroad Experience
First Faculty Advisor
Culture Shock; Reverse Culture Shock; Study Abroad
This qualitative study explores symptoms of reverse culture shock experienced by U.S college students upon returning home from a study abroad program. This qualitative study explores the relationship between the timing of when American students returned home from their study abroad program and reverse culture shock. Participants in this study include American students who participated in a semester-long study abroad program outside of the country. These students share their study abroad experience through a semi-structured survey or an interview process. This study specifically examines the time element of when these students returned home from their study abroad experience. Did the students return home at the intended end date, did they return home early or did they extend their trip past the intended end date? This study will examine the relationship between reverse culture shock and the timing of return to the United States. The study found that students who left at or after their intended end date were more likely to experience symptoms of reverse culture shock. Additionally, the study concluded that individuals who experience culture shock were more likely to experience symptoms of reverse culture shock. Lastly, the study found that on average students reported that their symptoms of culture shock lasted 1-2 weeks and their symptoms of reverse culture shock lasted 3-4 weeks.
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