I’m still adjusting. I stayed in New York this summer because I thought it would be easier to return there than to the suburbs. What happened was that I experienced all my culture shock in the city I had once loved so much. I’ve taken solace in blasting Italian music on my iPod every day, and once a month I go to Luzzo’s (1st and 13th), which is the most authentically Italian restaurant I’ve seen outside of Italy. It gives me amazing peace of mind. -Anah, Florence
After my first semester abroad, I came back disgusted at the lack of culture in the States, and was dying to go back to Europe. After a semester in Madrid, however, I realized that eight whole months abroad helped me realize what was missing from my life without the states, and I began appreciating the American things I took for granted before. Beach Boys, 24-hour diners, big breakfasts, and the freedom to be who you want to be. -Sarah, Florence & Madrid
I had trouble reconnecting with New York when I returned. It was all too loud, too big, and quite different from the more reserved nature of Prague. For the first week I felt like a stranger in a city I love. No one really discusses with you the difficulties of studying in two different cities and the trouble of returning. In order to reconnect with NYC, I did the things that made me happy: go to my favorite café, take long walks, do some shopping and especially see my friends.
Immediately upon leaving the airport, I made several comments about the sizes of automobiles and the strangeness of the scenery. Only initially, I felt sort of distant from my group of friends at home. I guess I coped by sharing lots of stories with them, but eventually I started feeling like I was talking about my experiences too much. – Stephen, Florence