BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award

Summer 2021

Date of Submission



Dr. Gulnaz Anjum, Associate Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


This research explores the lived experiences of Pakistani sojourner students who returned home from their study abroad programs in the US and Canada, and have had to face several adjustment issues as a consequence. The research findings suggest that Pakistani sojourner students’ return home was a journey itself, and a rather turbulent one. Their return home posited issues ranging from displaced expectations and perceptions of themselves as well as those around them, reverse culture shock and the role family dynamics and lack of personal resources with respect to family and friends played in escalating the aforementioned issues. Participants were noted to have been struggling with cognitive dissonance, which they coped with by employing several dissonance reduction strategies, including a heightened appreciation for Pakistan’s collectivist culture, grounding in familiarities from both host and home countries, and re-engaging with available or newly formed personal resources. These individuals simultaneously negotiated their belongingness and coped with having one foot in and one foot out of two different social and cultural identities. This study is a gateway for research on the experiences of Pakistani Sojourner Student Returnees (PSSRs), revealing significant insights and directions for future research and interventions.


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