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Over 70% of Students and Teachers Who Live Abroad Experience Culture Shock and Reverse Culture Shock

Updated: May 4

Most people know about “culture shock”, but do you also know about “reverse culture shock”?

Culture shock is adapting to a NEW environment, while reverse culture shock occurs when you are re-learning how to engage with your HOME country.

International students and teachers can both experience culture shock.

Most people move through a U-curve of culture shock stages.

For reverse culture shock, over 70% of expats experience this.

So, it’s important that students and teachers who return to their home country after studying or working abroad prepare accordingly.

Common stages of reverse culture shock include:

  1. Disengagement

  2. Euphoria

  3. Dampened Euphoria

  4. Gradual Readjustment

Both culture shock and reverse culture shock occur in a rollercoaster of stages.

The good news is that the skills which help you adjust to a new culture can also help you re-integrate back into your home culture.

  • Getting involved

  • Identifying a support group of other students, such as those who studied abroad in the same location as you or students who studied abroad elsewhere

  • Suspending judgment, identifying biases, and considering different perspectives until you understand a situation

  • Keeping a journal

  • Keeping a sense of humor

Moreover, it's helpful to acknowledge and accept that your values and beliefs may have changed. As a result, your friendships and relationships might have changed. As such, it can be helpful to explore new places and people with whom you can share your international experiences while incorporating your new and meaningful values and beliefs in your life.

Finally, it's important to practice self-care. Prioritize activities that help you reduce stress and feel grounded.

Feel free to reach out to us at for complimentary self-care tools, such as guided meditations.

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