The University of Iowa

Tagged with "coming home"

CIEE Beijing Study Abroad Program

Beijing Reflections

Back in Iowa City after half a year in Beijing, I am struggling with re-adjustment. The process goes like this: watch four Star Wars movies on the flight back, half-heartedly suggest family Easter dinner at the Beijing Buffet on the Coralville strip, get car towed because a certain private parking lot has strengthened enforcement protocols, swerve at the sight of newly sprouted condominiums three houses down from my home, scroll through photo albums of China adventures, obsessively check friends’ WeChat updates, try to retrieve the part of me that is still sleeping and waking in Beijing time. Perhaps retrieval will come by way of writing and reflecting.

Hold On, We're Goin' Home, Study Abroad Blog Post

I could dedicate much more than one blog to the process of going home, and the reverse culture shock that is often experienced upon returning. I went through a whirlwind of emotions during this time, each coming in different waves and phases. Having now been back in the States for a month, I would like to think I am finally fully adjusted to my old life. Yet, an old life that is so different. Over the past month, I have had a lot of time to think about my experiences, and would argue that returning home has nearly been as much of a learning process as my study abroad experience itself. Here is a list of my top 5 conclusions I have come to during my critical period of reflection

One epic family vacation: when your family meets you in Australia

The day I left Newcastle, Australia after 5 life-changing months, was truly one I will never forget. I had dreaded that day since the moment I stepped foot on campus in mid-February. While packing up all of my clothes and stuffing them back into the one suitcase I brought was definitely not enjoyable, and it was going through the souvenirs I had accumulated over the past few months that hit me the hardest...As I took what would now be my very last train from Newcastle to Sydney, I reminisced on those very moments, and began to prepare myself for what lay ahead… reuniting with my family in Sydney!