Actually coming back home ex-ESK volunteers face cultural shock again - reverse culture shock - the psychological, emotional and cultural aspects of reentry. While the phenomenon of culture shock is increasingly well known, reverse culture shock is not as recognized and understood. This is due in part to the fact that people are returning home. So why should "returning home" result in culture shock?
In this case how easy the person integrates into home-culture depends on how deep the person integrated into host-culture. The tendency is the deeper the volunteer was integrated into culture of host-county, the harder the process of integration will go at home.
In this particular case volunteers probably will go through all the phases of cultural shock again. Anyways, it should be surely easier to come through it as you have more in common with native surrounding.
There are some tricks and advices how to get used to your home country again.
During the project:
1. Start to plan your life after your return. Make a schedule for the first weeks/months.
2. Finding a job/new voluntary project/study after the project would be a great solution. The time at the end will run too quick, that's why it is better to start searching in advance.
3. Another helpful advice one sending organisation gives: "Think about how to use the new experience at home".
Upon your return:
1. To overcome adaptation as soon as possible try to find ESK volunteers in your city, get in contact with them or become their mentor.
2. Find ex-ESK volunteers in your city or at least in your country. You would have a lot in common/to talk about. Fortunately we are living in the 21st century and can contact each other via Skype or any other messengers. Ask your sending organization about ex-volunteers. Probably they stay in contact with some of them.
3. Keep in touch with your new friends you met during your project.
4. Search in the internet for some associations, workshops, foreign languages classes you would be interested in. Go on to live interesting life. Highly recomended by psohologist to be busy. You’re constantly bouncing around while doing your project, meeting new people, doing multiple activities a day and planning. You become used to that lifestyle, then you come home and it stops. Don’t let it! Keep yourself busy.
5. Share your experience. It can be an article for your sending organization later on published on their webpage or some presentation in your university. Thanks that way you can inspire next generation of volunteers.
6. Think global - act local! Find some social projects in your city and help to arrange them.
7. Take part in the seminar for ex-ESK volunteers. Before such seminars were organized by Salto (www.salto-youth.net).
8. Travel the world, explore your country, as you did it during the ESK project. Now you have a lot of friends all around the world, pack your suitcase and visit them all. Or invite them to visit you :-)
9. Think positive. Believe there are no bad days, there are just some that are better than others.
Remember "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.» - Hellen Keller.