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Adapting to Life After Studying Abroad

by Breanna Booker
Adapting to Life After Studying Abroad | AIFS Study Abroad | Athens, Greece

Since I have been home, I keep finding myself apologizing, simply because I repeatedly catch myself only speaking about that one time I studied abroad. I can’t help it; Greece was home and Europe is home to some of my most favorite memories. On days where I am missing it like crazy, the people I speak to might think it’s all I talk about. Which is a rightful explanation. At times, it’s all I think about.

I might not be living in Greece anymore, but a big piece of my heart will always be there waiting for me to return. Everyday I’m grateful that I decided to go; that I left behind the safety of home and said goodbye to a relationship that was holding me back. Everything seemed to have fallen together when I got on that plane, but I wasn’t meant to stay.

Coming home wasn’t easy. For one, our food tasted different than it did before I left. I left behind friends that I wish I could have right next to me forever.

I also I felt like I had taken a huge step backward in all of my accomplishments. I went from having an internship, being a full time student and traveling constantly to coming home to the actuality of my life. I was no longer living off of my savings — it was time to go back to a job and finding out where I was headed next. For a while I felt like next wouldn’t compare to where I had been.

I felt stuck. The same way I had before I left. That feeling that pressed me to leave in the beginning.

I loved every single country I visited. They were each unique and beautiful and so unlike the other. They seemed to have endless opportunities to do and be whatever I want.

Then, slowly, just like all of the places in Europe I visited, I found a new love for the country I am native to. I stopped harboring this hate for being back and I started noticing what I have missed out on. The opportunities that were right in front of me were endless. I started seeing my home as if I didn’t know a thing about it and everything changed. I began studying our culture as if it were foreign to me. I stopped ordering my usual and started going to the new restaurants.

My mindset changed completely. I brought the same mindset I had while abroad back into my head. That’s what made all the difference.  Because just like the countries I had visited, my own country and culture is amazing, too.

This post was contributed by Breanna Booker, who studied abroad with AIFS in Athens, Greece.

Adapting to Life After Studying Abroad | AIFS Study Abroad | Athens, Greece

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