Talking About Study Abroad

 In Study Abroad 101

When you return home after study abroad in the US,  it’s all you want to talk about.  It was such an overwhelming and astonishing experience.  Don’t make people want to tune you out, or think that you’re insulting your own culture.  There’s a way to talk about your study abroad experience that will be interesting and productive.

How to Talk to Friends About Your Study Abroad Experience 

study abroad

First, be honest. 

Not everything was awesome.  Did it take you weeks to make an American friend?  Were you crushed under tons of homework?  Talking honestly about the negative aspects of your study abroad will add dimension to your reminiscences, and people will be more open to hearing your stories.

Second, speak in a way that provokes interest and questions. 

Tell specific stories about things that you saw or did that were unexpected and exciting.  People will be drawn in by your passion.  Let it be a conversation.  You never know where someone’s interests lie, or the places they’ve been.

Third, talk to people who are actually interested in what you have to say.

Go to your local high school, and volunteer to give a presentation about your ESL study abroad in the US.  There’ll be students who are considering studying English abroad but don’t know how to go about pursuing it, or what to expect.  You can also talk to coworkers about the career perks available when you study English abroad.  Use a detailed personal example.  Maybe you got a promotion when you returned from abroad, or an opportunity to travel to another country for work.

Lastly, tell everyone how happy you are to be home.

Of course, you’re happy to be home in your own country from your ESL study abroad…you’re just also SUPER pumped to talk about how amazing your experience was while you studied ESL in the US!  People may misinterpret your enthusiasm about American culture as an indictment of your own culture.  Be humble, and honest about your experiences, and friends and family might just ask you to tell them more.



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