Preparing to leave and adjusting to home

Preparing to leave and adjusting to home

A smooth transition back to your home country can begin before you leave Vietnam.

Preparing to leave Vietnam:

Take some time to think about the experiences you have had during your studies and what you have learned about yourself that will help your transition back to your home country.

Ask yourself:

  1. What have you learned by overcoming the obstacles experienced while studying in Vietnam?
  2. What will be the most difficult thing about leaving?
  3. What are your strongest feelings about returning home? What do you fear most about returning?
  4. Who are the people and places that have become a part of your life during your experience?
  5. What do you need to do to prepare for returning home? Are there any areas that you feel you need to update or get more information on? What steps will you take to get this information?

You will also need to make practical arrangements for leaving RMIT and Vietnam, such as leaving your accommodation and returning library books, keys and other University equipment. Our returning home checklist will help identify arrangements you need to make before you leave.

Have a plan

Take actions to help yourself:

  • Write or talk to friends about your experiences here as this will help you to recognise and hold on to what you have learned and how you have changed.
  • Celebrate your departure with friends and colleagues: prepare by saying proper goodbyes to friends and contacts you have made here. This will help you cement relationships.
  • Plan for the details of your return home. Begin to imagine what it might be like to be home and start looking forward to seeing familiar faces and sights.
  • Identify your support groups: re-establish contact with people at home whom you would naturally turn to for support now. Let them know that you are preparing for your return and are looking forward to being with them again. If other international students are returning home at the same time as you, consider talking to them about how you will support each other.

Tips on adjusting once you get home:

  • Be prepared for a period of adjustment and reverse culture shock.
  • Educate your family and friends about this phase in your life.
  • Allow yourself time for you and your family to settle back into the rhythm of weekly life.
  • Allow yourself to think about what you are feeling and how your view of your familiar home and culture has changed.
  • Delay making major decisions about your life when you first return home as you may feel differently after you readjust.
  • Build on the skills of adaptation you have developed in Vietnam - look for ways to incorporate your cross-cultural skills and new interests with your life at home through involvement in international activities and opportunities to share your new expertise.
  • Integrate your new knowledge with the way things are done traditionally. Pick the ideas that will work well for you in your home context and discard those that will not. Try new things, but slowly, so you can process them and apply what you have learned.
  • Keep in touch with friends and colleagues in Vietnam. This will help alleviate feelings of loneliness and alienation by allowing you to express your feelings as well as strengthen what you have learned in Vietnam.
  • Share your experiences with other students who have returned from Vietnam through alumni and industry forums, graduates of RMIT, and other institutions internationally
  • Think about the future and about the next challenge you wish to achieve.