So you just returned home after spending a semester away and you’re trying to settle back into your “home” routine? Students and families often ask, how do we make the transition easier? It’s clear that your time away has had a significant impact and we’re here to help think about how you transfer some of that new knowledge and new you back into your home community and lives. 

These are our top 5 tips for a smooth transition back home:

1. Continue practicing habits you created at your study away.

As you adjust to life back at home, one of the most important things you can do to aid in your transition is to continue practicing some of the habits you established while you were studying away. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean waking up at 6 am every day for AMX like we do at The Island School, but it could look like being intentional about finding a time to run or workout a few days a week. It could also look like finding your new querencia space at home and making sure you take that time for yourself once a week or remembering to practice your new sustainability habits and share them with others. Whatever these habits may look like for you, remember consistency is key!

2. Find ways to share your experience more deeply.

You’ve practiced your elevator speeches and you’ve shared your stories with friends and family. Now it’s time to share your study away experience and growth more deeply. We encourage our alumni to think about organizing a presentation at your school, writing a reflection about how your experience impacted you (we may even share it on our blog!), or starting a new club. 

3. Be where your feet are.

One of the best ways to adjust to living back at home is to follow one of our favorite mantras, “Be where your feet are” and practice being fully present as you were during your experience away. This will feel a little different for everyone. For some it’s diving right back into life at home – school, friends, family, etc. For others, this will mean practicing tip number 1 to continue the habits you started at your study away, like querencia time at The Island School. Whatever it looks and feels like for you, whenever you wish you were back with your new friends remind yourself to be where your feet are. 

4. Support one another and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Returning home after such a transformative time will have its ups and downs, but you don’t have to go at them alone! While you may not be able to see your friends face to face right now, this is the time that you can use technology to your advantage. Create a group chat to share memories, call and Facetime your friends when you’re missing them, and send notes of encouragement when you know someone might be struggling a little more than you. 

It’s also important to remember that it’s okay to ask for help if you’re struggling. Find someone you trust, whether a parent or guardian, a school counselor, or your island school advisor, and reach out and share what you’re going through. You don’t have to go through it alone!

5. Stay connected to your new community.

Our final tip may seem like an obvious one, but once you get back to school and routines at home it can be more difficult to stay connected. Your program probably offers many ways to stay connected to your classmates and the organization. Do they have an alumni network or a LinkedIn group? Are you connected on social media? Attend an alumni event! Here are some of the alumni programs we offer at The Island School:

  • Join The Island School Alumni Network – This is the exclusive community for all Island School alumni. 
  • Become an Alumni Ambassador – There are a few different ways to volunteer your time with us as an alumni. You can explore opportunities at the link and reach out to us with any questions. 
  • Simply send us a note and say hi! 
  • Join us back on campus in December 2024 for our 25 Year Celebration!