As I prepare to go home I am beginning to realize that I am going to miss many things. But there are things that I have missed about the United States. The main thing that I miss from the United States is my family. Traveling and living half way across the world and only being able to see them through Skype or talk to them on the phone has been difficult. The other thing that I have missed is the variety of food. In Spain there is not much variety when it comes to ethnic food. The main type of food here is Spanish food and sometimes I long for Mexican or Asian food, which I cannot find here.
The thing that I will miss the most from Spain is constantly being surrounded by history and being immersed in the Spanish language. I will miss the winding streets with balconies and wide open plazas. I will miss going to the art museums and having a picnic in the park. Many of the quintessential Spanish things I will miss the most.
I do not think I will experience reverse culture shock when I return. The hardest part of culture shock was when I first arrived to Spain. There were a lot of different things I had to adjust to and I had adjusted just as my time here is coming to an end. On the other hand returning to the US will not be as difficult because I am familiar with it.
Since I will be returning to the US before the school year starts I will have more time to adjust. I plan to resume my daily life and begin to make things normal again to lessen the effects of reverse culture shock. I plan to share as many photos as I can with my family and friends and share with them my experience. My study abroad experience has been an important part of my education and I plan to incorporate as much as I can of what I have learned into my life and in the future. I plan to maintain the friendships that I have made here and to continue to communicate with my host family. My Spanish is a part of my everyday life so this will be much easier to maintain than other things that I have learned. One thing that I have learned while abroad is to remain engaged and informed with events not only in the United States but other countries as well and that it is an effective way to remain internationally engaged.