Preparing to Return Home

Do you remember how much time you spent making preparations for your journey and thinking about what life in the U.S. would be like? Just as much thought now needs to be given to your return home.


  • Book your return journey as soon as possible.
  • Decide whether you want to ship some of your possessions home, or travel with them. 
  • Check to see if you are entitled to an Income Tax refund


  • Doctor and dentist
  • Your landlord/lady
  • Bank
  • Electricity, gas, water, telephone companies (if you are paying for these services in your name)
  • Your employer (if you have a part-time job)

You should aim to pay all outstanding bills and any money you owe before you leave.  This is especially true for the the University - your qualification or transcript might be withheld if you have outstanding debts.


  • the University
  • clubs or groups you have joined
  • your friends!

READJUSTING TO LIFE AFTER THE U.S.(or "reverse culture shock")

You might be surprised to learn that returning home can also pose unexpected challenges. You will have changed while you have been away, and life back home will not have stood still.

Family and friends

"I know who I am, but that is not completely the same as the way my family view me. Now that the time for going home is coming closer I know I must take time to get my thoughts in order, so that when I arrive home I do not say things that will shock people".

Students report that some adjustment is involved both for themselves and their families when they return home. Although you may have developed new ideas and customs while you have been away, your friends and family may expect you to be exactly the same as when you left them. They will also be interested to hear about your experiences, but their attention span will be limited. Your family and friends will also have changed during your absence. These events can make it more difficult for you to readjust to life at home.


Most students soon adapt to their home culture without difficulty, but if you do experience any of the problems mentioned above, the following suggestions will help you to readjust.

  • Be aware that "reverse culture shock" is a common reaction
  • Educate your family and friends about this phase in your life
  • Build on the skills of adaptation that you have developed in the U.S.
  • Keep in touch with the friends you made in the U.S.
  • Share your experiences with other students who have returned from the U.S.
  • Think about the future, and about the next challenge or goal that you wish to achieve.

Advice from a returnee:

"Don't be surprised - it will take time to readjust, but you'll feel 'at home' again in time. Don't expect to view/see people or things as you did when you left. Try to look for the positive things in returning home, not the negative".