After being back in the U.S. for a month, looking back on study abroad, it all feels like a dream. Was I ever really there? I haven’t undergone much reverse culture shock other than just missing how walkable Europe was and the freedom I had with my schedule while studying abroad. One thing I recommend preparing yourself for is the possibility of losing your luggage. Sadly, my luggage has still not found it’s way back to me, and I have had to file a claim to hopefully receive reimbursement for the lost items. To prepare for this possibility, I recommend taking pictures of your suitcase and adding a personal luggage tag with your contact information and address. Take a picture of that as well. Also, write a list of everything you initially pack and buy while abroad; again, pictures are your best friend. If you can, also write down the dollar value of each item and when/where you bought it. I know this is tough, but it will make the claim process so much easier since it’s difficult to remember everything when you’re stressed about missing your bag. For items over $100, they will want proof of purchase, so be sure to keep receipts for high-dollar items. I also suggest looking into buying one of the new tracking devices. This could be useful for finding the luggage in the event it is lost. The most important thing about lost luggage is that you need to report it BEFORE leaving the airport. Find the customer service desk for your airline and report it. This is when the pictures of your luggage come in handy. After this, be insistent with the airline and file a claim within 5 days of not receiving your luggage. Typically after 5 days, all unclaimed luggage gets sent to a warehouse, where they’ll look for it more, but only if you’ve submitted the claim. The only thing left to do is be patient. It can take 6-8 weeks for the claim to process. All this said, make sure to pack all your valuables in your carry-on, and if at all possible, avoid checking your bag in the first place. Also, if you miss a connection, talk to the customer service desk to help you rebook and possibly even get a room at a hotel for the night, if it was the last flight to that location for the day. I hope your return journey is better than mine, but all-in-all, try to expect the worst so if anything does go wrong, it is easier to handle.