Sending Alex Abroad: Re-Entry Anxieties

In this series, Aspire by API’s very own Jill Denton writes about preparing for this summer’s Salamanca program from her unique perspective as a mom.

 

High School Study Abroad Summer Programs in Salamanca, Spain - Plaza Mayor

How have Alex’s perspectives changed as a result of the program?

Alex arrived home from her four week program in Salamanca, Spain last weekend.  As you can imagine, the re-entry process has been a big part of the study abroad experience for the whole family.  In this post, I’d like to address one side of the re-entry equation – what Brett and I as parents felt before Alex’s return.  In a later post, I hope to get some feedback from Alex and her friend Meghan on re-entry anxieties and feelings they experienced upon reentering the States.

Here are some personal questions I had before seeing Alex:

  • Will Alex be glad to be home? What will she miss about Spain? What did she miss most about home?
  • Is Alex going to look older? Has she changed or grown appearance – wise?
  • Is Alex going to be more independent? How will she express her new found independence?
  • Will Alex speak better Spanish? Does Spanish come more naturally for her now? When she starts school in a month, will she learn it more easily? Will Spanish class be more meaningful and interesting to her now?
  • Is Alex more interested in world events?
  • Did Alex make a bunch of new friends from all over the country during her trip?  How much did she talk with Spaniards and Aspire’s Spanish directors, and did she make any Spanish friends? Will she continue to stay in touch with all these friends for a long time?
  • What did she learn from her time in Spain that she might incorporate into her daily life?
  • Will Alex’s perception of us, her long-time friends, and Americans in general have changed? For better or worse?
  • Will Alex have found another purpose to her life?
  • Will Alex be more or less grateful about her American lifestyle and amenities in the states?
  • Will Alex’s tastes in food and clothing have changed?
  • Will Alex be more or less serious about her studies in upcoming school year as a result of this trip?
  • Will Alex want to go abroad on another group trip next year? If so, where will she want to go and what will she want to do?

Naturally, upon her return I had to contain these many thoughts and questions, not wanting to overwhelm her. I was so glad to see her back home (it seemed so long and in a way I feel like my summer with her vanished).   Once she’s had the time to process it, I’m just hoping to listen and take in all that Alex has to share with me.

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May 10, 2021 @ 16:02
You still have time to make summer 2021 your best summer yet! ☀️Discover Costa Rica, Italy, and Ireland, or explore virtual programs from anywhere in the world. We also have new programs right here in the U.S.! https://t.co/bHLxwD4oYy. #studyabroad #ispyapi #apiabroad https://t.co/DwrxtieZIy APIabroad photo
Apr 29, 2021 @ 18:30
👋 Hi everyone! I'm Eryn Fleener a senior at DePaul University in Chicago, studying Early Childhood Education. I studied abroad with API Summer 2019 in Florence, Italy! I will be taking over API Instagram tomorrow, make sure you follow along!
🇮🇹 🍕

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Apr 29, 2021 @ 17:51
🗞️ 🌏 Breaking news! The world is opening back up and travel will return! Enjoy some good news before the weekend! #studyabroad #apiabroad #ispyapi #internationaltravel #Europe
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Apr 29, 2021 @ 10:57
A lovely day for a tour of Montparnasse au des années folles and some delicious glace 🍦avec API. There is always something new to discover in Paris! #apiabroad #paris
📷 by @api_paris https://t.co/FODTCGyJpf
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