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Reverse Culture Shock

This STEP will discuss reverse culture shock -- the psychological, emotional and cultural aspects of reentry. 

You may be surprised that coming home can be difficult. You have missed your home and family and maybe have looked forward to being back home for months! But there are many unique challenges that you will face to re-integrate into everyday life that you were once so familiar with.

It may be helpful to think of Reverse Culture Shock in terms of the culture shock one experiences when moving overseas. Many of the same events and circumstances that create stress when adapting to a foreign culture also create stress in the return trip. Craig Storti, in his book, The Art of Coming Home, even notes that ‘most expatriates find readjusting back home, now commonly known as reverse culture shock, more difficult than adjusting overseas ever was.'

See below for a list of resources to help you better understand reverse culture shock:

  1. The Art of Coming HomeCraig Storti, available via McGill library 

  2. Culture Shock and Reverse Culture Shock: The moderating role of cultural intelligence in international students’ adaptationAlfred Presbitero, available via McGill library 

  3. Reverse Culture Shock and Managing RCS: Although this is a website by the U.S. Department of State, the information there is equally valuable for all international students