Adjustment Tips

Once abroad, you can take some steps to minimize emotional and physical ups and downs. 

  • Learn as much as you can about the host country before going. (See Researching Your Destination)

  • Keep yourself healthy through regular exercise and eating habits; get enough sleep.

  • Try to establish routines that incorporate both the difficult and enjoyable tasks of the day or week.


  • Don't expect things to be the same as they are at home; you've left home to experience different things.

  • Stay in touch with your friends and family, but don’t just call them when you are lonely or frustrated: Share your accomplishments and the positive moments.

  • Don’t confuse difference with inferiority.

  • Don’t judge the people of a country by the one person with whom you have trouble.

  • Resist looking down on or making jokes and comments about the host culture.  Avoid others who take part in such derogatory remarks.

Sea Lions
Photo: Tec Yan Yap, IWU Freeman Asia, Summer 2018


  • Treat yourself to an occasional indulgence, such as an American magazine or newspaper, a favorite meal or beverage, or a long talk with other Americans experiencing the same challenges.

  • Accept invitations to activities that will allow you to see parts of the host culture outside the classroom and help you to meet new people.

  • Remember that you are a guest in the host country and that when you treat a host with respect, you will be treated similarly.

  • Above all keep an open mind, be sensitive to the feelings of others, and maintain your sense of humor.