You've just returned from an amazing trip abroad. You learned so many new things in your host country, and gained some new perspectives on life.
But now that you're home, you're probably scatterbrained. How could you possibly slip back into the world after such an amazing trip? Your language and intercultural studies might seem like something that only worked in your host country.
No one ever said that education, whether personal or academic, has to stop after studying abroad. Opportunities to learn are all around you – you just have to know where to find them. No matter your interests, your brain always has room for more knowledge.
So, how can you continue learning, even after studying abroad? Read on to find out.
Join a Club
You might be thinking, "Taking a class on one of my hobbies would make it too serious." Don't worry, there are clubs! Spend time with others who share your passions by joining an international or language club.
Countless places around your town, like libraries, colleges/schools, or community centers, probably host clubs. You can also check the web on sites like Meetup.
Read and Write
These days, writing and reading are starting to become lost arts. But you can help reverse that trend and revel in your experiences at the same time.
One of the best ways to reminisce about your travels abroad is to write about them. You can even try to have your stories published in magazines, newsletters, and even well-known outlets (like here). Your audience probably has never experienced what you did, so sharing your stories will allow them to see into your world.
Just like studying, reading can offer fresh insight into your experience. Ditch those textbooks for a while and pick up some books about your host country. Read some fiction that takes place there, and see how it compares to your travels.
Are your eyes and hands too busy at the moment? Try audiobooks! They’re great for when you’re on the go or busy with other chores.
Keep in Touch With Friends and Involve Others
One of the biggest regrets people have when returning from a trip abroad is failing to keep in touch with their host families and new friends.
Make sure you get their Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media, so you can stay in touch. Communicating will sharpen your language skills.
In the meantime, while you can't see your new friends, try to get your friends at home involved in your endeavors. Host an international-themed party, or look for study buddies. Your friends can share their traveling experiences and how they're keeping international culture alive at home.
Find a mentor
Reach out to an older friend or colleague for a cultural exchange. You can learn something new about international cultures through the eyes of someone who's been there quite often.
Whether it’s serious subjects or just light chatting, connecting with knowledgeable sources like these may be just the boost you need.
Follow International News
We should all watch the news more often, but what if the news catered to your interests? If you love international cultures, consider following or watching news networks from your host country and beyond.
You can follow most news networks on social media. Apps from the biggest news outlets usually also contain international segments.
For the not-so-tech-savvy, you can subscribe to email updates, too.
Take Some More Classes
This option is absolutely a priority. Think about taking some more classes related to your studies abroad. Both universities and colleges have advanced language courses. They also have courses that provide great supplemental skills for your career and general interests regarding other cultures and peoples.
If colleges are too far away or out of your budget range, consider taking online classes. They’re more in-depth and cohesive than ever before.
And if neither of those fit your fancy, you can try studying on your own. Rent some books from the library, or browse some websites or apps. You may learn something you'd never learn in the classroom – just like your experience abroad!
Just because you're home doesn't mean your international learning grinds to a halt. There are many ways to quench your thirst for worldly knowledge. Grab a journal, a book, or a friend, and get ready to learn!