Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

Going Home? Why It Might Be Harder Than You Think

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 @ 07:55 AM

 reverse culture shock, returning home from the United States, suitcasesAre you getting ready to return to your home country after living in the United States for a while?

Do you remember how you felt when you first arrived in the United States? You might have experienced culture shock.

Now that you are returning to your home country, you are probably guessing that it will be easy, right?

Wait a minute!!

A lot of people experience reverse culture shock when they return to their home country. What is reverse culture shock and what should you do if you experience it? Find out in today's listening lesson. Listen to the stories of Khadeja and Sarah and then take a quiz to test your understanding. 


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Try this quiz!


hiking sarah1) According to Sarah, do most people expect to feel reverse culture shock when they go home?

a. No, most people do not expect it

b. Yes, a lot of people prepare for it

c. Yes, everyone expects to experience it




2) Why did Sarah feel disappointed when she came back from abroad?

a. Her friends had forgotten about her

b. She wasn't being challenged anymore

c. She missed the people she had met while living abroad


sarah hiking boots resized3) Which transition was the most difficult for Khadeja?

a. Moving from Oman to Saudi Arabia

b. Moving from Mauritius to Oman

c. Moving from Saudi Arabia to the U.S.


4) What was surprising to Khadeja about the U.S.?

a. The way that men communicated with women in the U.S.

b. The dating rituals in the U.S.

c. The lack of knowledge that men in the U.S. had about Saudi Arabia


5) What did Sarah do when she returned to the U.S. to deal with reverse culture shock?

a. She moved to a large city as soon as she returned

b. She made friends in the international community on her college campus

c. She traveled back to South Africa every 6 months



Answer Key: 1) a   2) b   3) c   4) a   5) b



New vocabulary and expressions:


To deal (slang): To handle something that is difficult or confusing

When you come home from being abroad, it's sometimes hard to deal.


Shocking (adjective): Surprising, unbelieveble, incredible, disturbing

The most shocking part about coming back to the United States was the portion sizes.


Vulgar (adjective): ignorant, crude, unrefined, lack of manners

The men that Khadeja met when she came to the U.S. seemed vulgar.


Burly (adjective): large, thick, heavy, strong

A lot of football players are burly.


To work through (phrasal verb): To overcome a problem, to find a solution

When you return to your home country, you might have to work through some challenges before you feel at home again.




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Photo credits: kthread

Topics: English Lessons, Cultural Competence, Listening Practice

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