Living abroad will change your son or daughter in significant or subtle ways that may take a while for all of you to sort out. Roles will need to be renegotiated, “home” will need some reconstruction. As you’ve been throughout this process, be prepared to be supportive & patient!
For a bit more information, see the info we provide our students about returning to the U.S.
“Culture shock is the expected confrontation with the unfamiliar; re-entry shock is the unexpected confrontation with the familiar.” –R. Michael Paige, “Maximizing Study Abroad”
"It was definitely worth it in so many ways. Besides the opportunity to see sights most people only get to read about, the maturity and self confidence she gained was just wonderful. ... While she was in France, she was able to apply for, interview by phone, and arrange to take an internship in California for the summer upon her return. She would not have considered going that far away prior to her study abroad experience." – Rita Williams, mother of a UI senior
"My French improved by "leaps and bounds" during that year, and this skill is of great importance to me in pursuit of an international law career. The ability to speak and research in French opens doors for me in vast areas of the world including Europe, Canada and regions of Africa.... As I hope you can see, my interest in France and other French-speaking areas of the world was not one of passing fancy, whimsy, or the desire simply to travel to Europe. While of course I enjoyed my year abroad, and while of course I travelled and had an extremely good time, I look back on my year abroad as having tremendous significance on my life and career plans." –Kathy Schumacher, France