For most international students your time in Europe is temporary.
But if you have met Jesus, that lasts an eternity!
Many international students will return home upon completing their studies. This means facing the challenges of reverse culture shock - learning how to thrive in an old context when you've changed and grown, and probably, so have people back home!
For those who have become Christians while in Europe, you'll have to learn how to be a Christian in your own culture - finding a local church to settle into.
For those who were seriously exploring Christianity and became convinced of the importance of thinking about spiritual matters while in Europe, you'll have to find news ways to keep this a priority in your life back home. Why not use the links below to connect with local Christians who will continue to answer your questions about life's deeper issues?
There are some unique challenges to be faced on returning home, but there are also ways to prepare and help along the way so that you can thrive and be a blessing to many.
Finishing well and saying proper goodbyes will provide closure and enable you to embrace the hope and anticipation of the next stage of life! Take photos of important people and places, say proper goodbyes, settle accounts (financial and relational), collect some meaningful souvenirs…
Friends International have produced a helpful series of studies called ‘Think Home’ on the topic of returning home. You can download it from their website here.
Why not work through these studies, thinking about the issues you might face and be better prepared for the things you might face.
Talk with those closest to you about your particular fears and worries, and the situation you are returning to. Think about what is going to be important in helping you cope with the transition.
Always prepare yourself in the light of God’s sovereignty and purpose for you!
The best thing you can do is to connect with other students and Christians in your new location. It will provide a strong bridge to all you have experienced in Europe. Connecting into a new church and new fellowship will help you keep going, even when it gets difficult!
There are various ways to connect:
- Talk to people! You never know who might have contacts/church recommendations
- Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can try and help you out
- Connect with the local student movement. All contact information for each country can be found on our international website http://ifesworld.org/ (under Regions)
- Friends International have a resource on Follow up Networks with some useful contacts if you are working amongst international students. See their resource page here.