Returning Home

Looking for a job in your home country?

This unique service aims to help UW international student alumni who are looking for jobs or internships in their home country. GradConnection is a job/internship search platform that is dedicated to helping students and recent alumni find graduate job and internship opportunities in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and a number of markets in the Southeast Asia region. GradConnection also works very closely with employers in China to help them promote their openings that prefer graduates from overseas universities who are now returning to their home countries to start their careers.

Planning your return home: preparing for reverse culture shock

Think back to your first few weeks in the United States. Do you remember feeling excited, nervous, anxious or even a bit stressed? The emotional highs and lows that you experience while adjusting to the American way of life are also experienced when you return home. This experience of “re-entry shock” is normal and we hope that you use the following suggestions to help you prepare for returning home.

Some common feelings about returning home are:

  • Everyone at home has changed. I’ve changed.
  • Everyone at home looks the same, where’s the diversity?
  • I miss the freedom and independence I felt while I was in the U.S.
  • Why do I feel so bad about being home? Why don’t they believe me that this transition to return home is hard?

Strategies to help you deal with re-entry:

One of the best ways to cope successfully with the re-entry process is to prepare yourself before returning home. It is helpful to have realistic expectations and to have thought through the re-entry process before experiencing it.

  • Be patient with yourself and others.
  • Befriend other people who have had an intercultural/international experience.
  • Keep in touch with your friends, professors, co-workers, and advisors in Washington.
  • Understand that it is ok and only natural to compare cultures, but try not to be too negative or boastful. Rather, focus on adopting positive aspects of both cultures for yourself.
  • Remember that “home” is within yourself; there is always a choice which set of cultural values you will use in any given situation.
  • Find creative ways to keep up with your English skills, such as watching American movies, and reading books, magazines or newspapers in English.
  • Use your English skills in a helpful way with others.
  • Meet with a career counselor to go over your resume and career options to include your international experience in a culturally appropriate manner.
  • Volunteer to give a presentation about your experience in the U.S. to a local school.
  • Check with local study abroad recruitment services and/or universities to see how you can help recruit students to study overseas or volunteer to help at an orientation for international students.
  • Join an English club or volunteer to teach English at a school or to family members/friends.
  • Organize a gathering of fellow UW alumni.
  • Volunteer to become a host family or language partner for an international student.
  • Join a professional organization in your field.