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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

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
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 & 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
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
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
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
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
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
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!