Initially upon returning home your son/daughter will probably be experiencing jet lag and be tired when you want to talk, or they might be energetic when you’re ready for bed. It’s a good idea to plan a good time to sit down and go over souvenirs and pictures and stories at a time that works for everyone. Just because a student is back home doesn’t mean their international experience is at an end. Your son/daughter is going to be gaining new perspectives and understandings about things back at home; food, economics, politics, transportation, etc. Here are some tips to help you and your son/daughter incorporate their study abroad experience into life back home:
- Encourage your student to look into joining the Bison Abroad club on campus. Here they can connect with other students who have studied abroad and can understand their situation.
- In the first few weeks after your son/daughter comes home, you should ask about more specific details rather than broad questions. Students tend to talk more easily about daily routines, food, and people they’re missing.
- You’re going to hear the phrases: “When I was in (Chile, France, Italy, Australia, etc.).” and “It’s hard to explain.” It might be hard to listen to things when you can’t really picture the experience, but it is important for them to talk.
Your son/daughter’s experience may very well have a large impact on you as well. Your understanding of your son/daughter’s host country will increase dramatically, and you yourself might be inspired to learn a new language or travel abroad.