International students reflect on their transition back to home life

Studying abroad is popularly called one of the most life changing things for college kids, however this year, for many international students in America, their program abroad was unfortunately cut short due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Davis Winn reports on how some students are adapting back in their home countries

Two Japanese students, Kohei Inomata and Kanaru Takahashi came to Ball State in August 2019, and planned to stay until May of 2020, but the Coronavirus forced them to return home sooner than expected.

Both have been back in their homes in Japan for a few weeks, adjusting back to their home culture and life. Takahashi said that “[My study abroad program] was a really good experience for me. Though the Coronavirus ruined the last part of it.”

One of the biggest aspects of returning from abroad is what is called “reverse culture shock” which means that the person has trouble readjusting to their home culture after being gone so long, Inomata doesn’t see this affecting him from his perspective, saying that “It’s not hard to me to adjust back to my culture because it’s my hometown, I am used to my country’s culture.”

Despite the abrupt end, both were glad they were able to take part in their experiences. Inomata says that the curriculum he learned will help him towards his career goal as an English Teacher, and Takahashi now boasts about her ability to adapt in a new country.

As for the future programs, Ball State has cancelled all programs for the Summer and Fall of decision has been made on if the 2021 programs will continue or not, it is not known how greatly the virus will impact the future of study abroad at Ball State or around all the universities in America.


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