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Reverse Culture Shock
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I spent a year in Europe my senior year (Stanford) and then in the next decade, two years in India as a Peace Corps Volunteer. The reverse culture shock is real and I found it to be an opportunity for growth.

I saw my own country in a new perspective, from a more global point of view. I saw the sense of history in Europe vs the future facing American view. I saw the cynicism of millenia-old cultures vs. raw, new enthusiasm.

I saw people in day-to-day struggles to survive vs. people with everything, wanting more. I climbed ruins and ancient buildings; I walked the slick new streets of a country whose countryside has never experienced the ravages of a foreign invader who slaughtered the inhabitants and salted the fields.

I talked with people who knew in their bones how fragile civilization is; I returned to a people who blithely assume their civilization is forever. The experience changed me. More Americans should travel the world. We are not the center of the universe.

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