Reverse Culture Shock
If you are returning to your home country, you may experience difficulties in re-adapting to the realities in your home country. While in Japan, many international students go through re-examining their cultural identity, lifestyle, values and opinions about their country. Upon re-entry to your country, you may find many things are different from how you knew them. While you think more favorably about Japan, you may be critical of your country. Just like the cultural adjustment process, the re-entry process can differ significantly from person to person. You may have no major re-adjustment issues, or you may experience sever distress in a way you would not have expected. In this section, you will learn the process and challenges of re-entry and how to cope with reverse culture shock, which you may experience upon returning to your country. The process of reverse culture shock can be described in the following stages.
The Reentry Process
|Stage 1: Disengagement||While you are still in Japan, you begin to start thinking about moving back to your country and leaving your overseas experience and friends. You are emotionally preparing yourself for reentry.|
|You are excited to be back in your country and your family and friends are delighted to have you back. At the beginning, people will politely listen to your stories, but you may soon find that they are ready to move on to the next topic and are not as interested in your overseas experiences as you had hoped.|
|You may experience dampened euphoria and even feel like a stranger at home. Your home country may have changed in your eyes. The gap between expectations and reality may result in frustration, feelings of alienation and mutual misunderstandings between you and your friends and family.|
|During this stage, you will begin to gradually re-adjust to life at home. You become fully involved with friends, family, and activities again and feel like you’ve integrated back into the society. Many people at this stage realize the positive and negative aspects of both countries and have a more balanced perspective of their experiences.|