Reentry issues upon returning from study abroad programs

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The impact of returning from studying abroad was surveyed in 669 college students. Students who studied abroad scored significantly higher on a Reentry Shock scale, reflecting skepticism toward U.S. culture, than those who did not. They were also more likely to consume alcohol. Study abroad had no detectable influence on students' romantic relationships. Women who had studied abroad reported being less able to cope with anxieties, feeling more "blue," being less relaxed, and having more stress in their relationships with a significant other. Focus groups during which students are invited to discuss their experiences after study abroad could provide students a venue for exploring any reentry difficulties they may encounter, make valuable contributions to the knowledge base, and point toward topics that deserve deeper study.



Author Laura W. Turkowski is a graduate of the College of Saint Benedict.