International Students, Inc. has some resources to help you. Go to www.isionline.org and click on “Resources” at the top right corner of the page, then “Store.” There you will find New Horizons: Adjusting To Life Back Home; New Horizons: Preparing Your International Friend For Life Back Home; Returning to China: Keys to Successful Re-Entry, Returning to China: Keys to Successful Re-Entry – Believer (when the student is a believer). All of these publications are designed to help you as you prepare your friend for her reentry.
Reverse culture shock is often worse than initial culture shock because she is not expecting it. Things she thought would be no problem blindside her unexpectedly. Her friends may have little or no time for her as they have other friends now. Her parents’ expectations may seem awkward and too controlling. If she is a believer, there may be little fellowship available for her… and worse, there may be persecution if her family and community finds out she is a Christian.
For believers, learning International Students, Inc. M28 Bible study approach can be important in leading work associates and neighbors to know Christ personally, so she has some fellowship with other believers. Learning what the Scriptures have to say about suffering for our faith would be important in certain countries. See if your friend would like to download a Bible on to her cell phone.
Finally, establishing a way to keep in touch with one another may take some planning once the student is home. That is the topic for the next blog.
Principles cited in this blog: There are many issues to help a student prepare for returning home as reverse culture shock can be worse than the initial culture shock of coming to the US.
Application for ISI ministry: Many resources are available to help you plan and prepare your international student friend(s) for life back home.
Next blog topic: Communicating with your former international student after they return home
Doug Shaw with Derrah Jackson