Helpful Hints for a Positive Re-entry Experience

  • Spend some time thinking through the expectations you had in going into your short-term cross-cultural experience. Did those expectations change while on your trip? Have there been further changes now that you've returned? Do you feel some kind of dissonance now? Journal the transition times. Notice what values and attitudes are changing and what triggered those changes.
  • Remember that cross-cultural team training is never either wasted or has only a one-and- done usage. You can apply the cross-cultural training you received to life in your home culture.
  • Debrief with others. Find one other person or a group and ask each other questions such as:
  • Reread your journal. Every day, read one entry which you wrote on the trip and ask God to remind you of the things He was teaching you then.
  • Pray. You probably could use time alone or with a committed prayer partner. Pray for the people you met, the church, each other, the people to whom you want to tell your story.
  • Give yourself a spiritual checkup: Do you feel closer or more distant from God than before the trip?
  • Be both creative and disciplined in your devotions. However, remember that spirituality is not limited only to performing "a productive Quiet Time." God is lovingly present with you throughout the day.
  • Recall the success and accomplishments of the short-term project you were a part of. Develop a list of gifts and strengths that God gave and affirmed on the trip. Also, make a list of weaknesses and areas where God moved in spite of your limitations.
  • Learn how to answer — not despise — the question, "How was your summer?" Become a story teller and learn to tell your story well.
  • Adapted from Student Leadership Journal, a publication of Inter-Varsity

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