When going on an international assignment, culture-shock in a new country is a very common, even expected, part of the process. Many employers are aware of this and make provisions for their employees, such as ‘look-see’ trips prior to assignments, and cultural training to help combat feeling out of place in their new home. But what about when the assignment is over? Coming home may be thought of as an easy process, however in reality this is often not the case.
This phenomenon, known as reverse culture shock, is experienced by many assignees who find returning home just as difficult, if not more so, than leaving in the first place. After the initial high of returning to your family, friends and ‘old’ life, various negative emotions can rise to the surface.