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Going Home  and . John Weting YEC Rotary Club of Marquette, Michigan, U.S.A., D-6220 johnweting@charter.net Central States Summer Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan , U.S.A. July 2007. A Tale of Two Lives!. Who is nervous about returning home?

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Going Home  and 

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Going Home and 

John Weting

YEC Rotary Club of Marquette, Michigan, U.S.A., D-6220


Central States Summer Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan , U.S.A.

July 2007

A Tale of Two Lives!

  • Who is nervous about returning home?

  • Who wants to go home for a month and return to their exchange life?

  • Vertical relationships vs. horizontal relationships

  • Has home changed or has your perception of the home and the world changed?

  • Look around you are not in this journey alone!

The Good & Bad of Going Home

The Good

  • Seeing family & friends

  • Renewing relationships

  • Eating Favorite foods

  • Back to education

  • Speaking native language

  • Being “special”

  • Freedom/Protection

The Bad

  • Missing family & friends

  • Losing relationships

  • Missing favorite foods

  • No more easy school!

  • Speaking native language

  • Being “ordinary”

  • Freedom/Protection

Peaks & Valleys – The Emotional Roller Coaster Ride

  • Seeing family and friends at home

  • Discovering things about your own culture

  • Missing exchange family and friends

  • Homesick for your adopted culture

  • When peaks and valleys are opposing

Good Day / Bad Day

Borrowed from Coming Home- Relatio9nships, Roots and Unpacking

By Jim Citron and Vija Mendelson, http://www.transitionsabroad.com

  • I have the flexibility to fit in anywhere. I adapt easily. I feel horizontally rooted.

  • I am bilingual/multilingual.

  • I can empathize with multiple view points.

  • I respect cultural differences.

  • I have tolerance for ambiguity.

  • I feel challenged/empowered by new experiences.

  • I am aware of global issues (news, politics, media, resource distribution, etc.)

  • I accept challenges to my lifelong beliefs and values.

  • I have a more complex/defined sense of self.

  • I act more socially responsible.

  • I enjoy a personal connection to the larger world; I feel like a “global citizen”.

  • I take risks and embrace the unknown.

  • I am curious and eager to learn.

  • I don’t seem to fit in anywhere. I resist change. I feel rootless.

  • I am semi-lingual in two or more languages.

  • I am frustrated by my narrow-mindedness of people at home.

  • I become impatient with monoculturalism.

  • I am frequently indecisive.

  • I feel bored my the mundane.

  • I am uninformed about local issues and unable to apply what I’ve learned about the larger world to my life at home.

  • I am becoming resocialized into U.S. patterns of thought.

  • I have a more fragmented sense of conflicting identities.

  • I act judgmental and self-righteous in the face of others’ social choices.

  • I feel disconnected/alienated from my home environment.

  • I feel overwhelmed by the known and unknown.

  • I feel depressed and reluctant to engage.

Skills you Gained This Past Year

The following are skills that most of you have likely gained during your year of exchange:

  • Patience

  • Broader appreciation of others views

  • Expressing your appreciation for others efforts

  • Helping others

  • Pack these skills when you leave and remember to unpack them when you get home!

Sharing Your Exchange Experience

  • The novel vs. the short story

  • “What happened here while I was gone?”

  • Be careful of comparing cultures

  • Seeing your country and the world through different filters

  • Others will not likely understand your passion

  • Jealousy and/or lack of understanding

Coping With Re-Entry

  • Share, share, share

  • Communicate- E-mail, IM, Skype, MySpace, Post cards, Letters…

  • Seek out other returned exchangees

  • High school, university… getting on with life

  • Presentations to Rotary, civic groups, churches…

  • Help your Rotary Club find new exchange students

  • Get involved with your Sponsor District

  • Get involved in ROTEX


Links available at http://www.csrye.org

  • “Going Home”, by Dennis White, Ph.D. (A good read for the plane ride home!) and “How I have changed. Available at- http://yeoresources.org/4DACTION/RYD_Find_1?wvTable0=24&wvSearch_Field0=3&wvSort_Field0=3&wvSearch_Value0=Rebounds_-_Rotex

  • http://www.pacific.edu/sis/culture/ (excellent worksheets)

  • http://www.transitionsabroad.com

  • The Art of Coming Home, STORTI, Craig 2001

  • Google “Cultural re-entry” 0r “Reverse culture shock”

Thank You

The world is a great book;

he who never stirs from home reads only a page.

Saint Augustine-Carthaginian author, saint, & church father

(354 AD - 430 AD)

As an exchange student, you have read but one chapter,

the book and the world lie before you.

Happy discovering!

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