Adjusting to life at home after studying abroad can be a challenge. Life in the U.S. can seem drab after the independence and new experiences students have while abroad. Students may also feel that their friends and family cannot easily share in the enthusiasm for their host country, or don't fully appreciate how the study abroad experience has changed their perspective on the world.
You can help your son or daughter by listening carefully to them and acknowledging their growth. Encourage them to seek out ways of integrating their abroad experiences with life in the U.S. Continued language study or other relevant coursework can build on their abroad learning. Perhaps a local International House provides a venue for students to share their experiences.
Leonore Cavallero, the academic director of the School for International Training and the parent of a student who studied abroad, has developed an excellent reentry guide for students returning from abroad. This Re-Entry Guide, which you can download below, helps to normalize students' re-entry experiences and provides practical tools that can ease their transition back to the U.S. A section for parents (Appendix XIII) provides guidance for how you can support your student as he or she moves through this process.