Being Able To Have A Pet

 In Study In The USA

There are lots of lifestyle benefits to being home from ESL study abroad.  One benefit that may not come to mind immediately is that you can now have a pet.  Owning and caring for a pet has a healthful impact on your life.  There’s research that suggests pet owners are happier people.  There are also a wealth of studies proving that pet ownership lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, and decreases the chances of developing allergies or asthma when you have a pet in your home during early childhood.  Maybe pet owners are happier because they’re reaping all these health benefits, after all who likes running back and forth to the doctor?  But maybe it’s because animals give you unconditional love.  A pet will never judge you; they don’t hold grudges, and are always there to support you when you need comforting.

Returning Home—How A Pet Can Help You Readjust

When you return home from ESL study in the US, you may experience a period of readjustment to your native country and culture.  This phenomenon is known as “reverse culture shock”.  One good way to ease the transitions through this period, and to enrich your life, is to become a pet owner!

Pets are great icebreakers.  Who doesn’t stop to pet a puppy, and chat with the owner?  I can’t even count the number of cute pet pictures and videos that friends have sent me as conversation starters, or silly hellos.  Family, friends, strangers old and young, everyone loves an adorable, well-mannered pet.

Note “well-mannered” because part of the responsibility of pet ownership is teaching your pet to behave.

Animals rely on you not just for their healthcare and feeding, but also their socialization.  You are your pet’s everything.  This care-giving responsibility can be very rewarding.  You and your pet will teach, and learn from, one another while deepening your connection.  Teaching your pet a new skill will help you become more patient and observant.  You’ll learn your pet’s secret language.  The bark, meow, whine, pawing, circling, or sitting that say: “Hey I gotta go potty”; “Let’s take a walk”; or “I’m starving here!”

Return from ESL study abroad means you can settle back into life in your native country.  Reconnect with friends from your childhood, and maybe get a pet.  Having a pet will assist you in reintegrating back into your culture.  You can count on the companionship that a pet provides, and nurturing a pet is a meaningful experience that has benefits.  Pet owners are happier healthier people.

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