Missing Your Friends From Abroad
Yay! You’re home from study abroad, and are back in the warm embrace of family and childhood friends.
Boo! You’re far away from the friends you made in the US while studying English.
Missing your new found friends is part of the roller coaster of emotions, and one of the challenges of readjusting to life back in your native country.
This readjustment is called “reverse culture shock”, and is suffered by many students when they return home to their native culture. Things that were once familiar seem strange, and you can feel disconnected from the people around you. Of course, you’re excited to be home, and see the people you missed while away studying English in the USA, but NOW you miss the friends you made there, the things you did, and the places you went…
Don’t despair. It’s easier than ever to maintain long distance friendships. Video chat, e-mail, text, talk, there’s a world of technology available to you. Instagram is a great way to keep in touch with far away friends on the regular. Send funny selfies, and let them see what that dish you pined for actually looks like!
Long Distance Friendships Are Stronger
Long distance friendships are often stronger than more proximal friendships. This is partly because you both have to make an effort to stay in touch, but also because you don’t spend time fighting. Instead, you reminisce, share funny stories, talk about the important events in your lives, and share advice with one another. It can be easier to be open and vulnerable with a friend who’s far away—you aren’t going to run into them immediately after laying yourself bare. These shared intimacies deepen trust, and forge lasting bonds.
Take advantage of holidays to send a gift to show how much you appreciate your friend, and make plans for when you’ll see one another again. They can visit you, you can visit them, or you can explore somewhere new together.
ESL study abroad opened your eyes to a new culture, and your heart to new friends. Now that you’re back home in your native country you’re missing your new friends, and are struggling to feel like yourself in your own culture. Reach out. Your far-flung friends would love to hear from you, and offer their support—after all, being there for you, no matter how far away they may be, is what friends do.