Students Struggle to Acclimate Upon Return From Abroad
Life Changing - No matter who you talk to, they will tell you the same thing after a Dickinson sponsored semester abroad. With some students updating their instagram every 15 minutes (Picture a I’m not going to name names) and others going a bit more rogue. The semester was full of opportunity for Dickinson Juniors and a few estranged seniors. However, understandably after putting so much effort into adapting to the culture of their homestay many students forgot what it means to live in American society.
Between Bar Lime, Monkey House, and Billy Booze students were exposed to a lifestyle so distinct from America that they have been forever changed. For some the style changes are subtle, a slight affinity for black turtlenecks, the implementation of a siesta into their daily schedule, or even a nuanced appreciation for art.
However, the harsh truth is that for some the challenges of coming back simply are THAT deep. With students coping with struggles ranging from difficulty speaking english, inability to stop using military time, addiction to cheese platters and even brutal cigarette habits. These troubles accompanied by a general disconnect with the occident and far west culture have made for a real burdensome few weeks for students fresh off of the best four months of their lives. Some students have even requested that their host parents be replaced with their real parents in order that they can continue to live out the experience. While Dickinson’s abroad experiences have been a staple for the school for many years, these recent trials point towards a general sentiment, that maybe abroad is detrimental to the spirit.
Are the experiences so immersive that they change the students forever? Do their families even recognize them back in the states? These are the questions which are already plaguing the masses emigrating from Europe. After returning from Bologna, Junior Women’s Lax player, Remedy Swanson remarked, “It’s just so hard, like in Italy my parents paid for everything since they knew it was a once in a lifetime experience, but now I want to visit again over spring break and they won’t help me out”. Another student, Noe Villalobos actually believes he has transformed into the reincarnation of Pablo Picasso and has been seen attempting to sell his stick figure drawings on the streets of Baltimore. How the good ones have fallen. May we all be the safety net these students need upon their return to campus in a month, and for those departing: consider reconsidering. Darkness. Tragedy. Disconnect. These poor kids.