Upon my arrival back home to Cincinnati, Ohio, a lot of thoughts were running through my head. I was very excited to see my family and friends, eat at familiar restaurants, and start my co-op. I felt a sense of relief that the rigorous course was completed, yet felt sad that I wasn’t exploring Denmark anymore. As I reflected back on the program, I had so many enjoyable times meeting new friends, exploring Danish cities, and eating at world-renowned restaurants. I also felt that I had changed as a person. I left with an appreciation for Scandinavian people, cuisine, and culture. I was able to observe the effects of an entirely different government and style of thinking. I accrued fun experiences and crazy times that I will cherish forever.
The trip also caused me to gain a new appreciation for the United States. I realized how many things in this country I have taken for granted, such as free restrooms and water, social equality, convenient transportation, and efficient service. I learned to grow and adapt in a new environment. This growth, I believe, will benefit me in any future situation or uncertainty that I face.
Returning home to the United States, I did not experience any reverse culture shock, as I have lived in this country for 21 years. I was very tired when I arrived home because I decided to sleep on the floor of JFK airport. To adjust as quickly as possible, I stayed up until my usual bedtime and proceeded to sleep for 13 hours. This allowed me to adjust my sleep schedule as efficiently as possible.
If I had to give a future student advice, I would tell them to capitalize on their time in whatever country they are in by getting off their phone and being truly present. I would tell them to try new foods, explore new areas, and do things that they would not normally do back home. It is important to come in with an open mind in order to truly grow. I followed this advice and was able to maximize my trip and make some awesome memories.