My Re-entry Story: Alethea Stoltzfus, Expecting the Unexpected


I recently introduced you to Mattie Clark and Anita Horton, two of our Day 1 RELAUNCH! Virtual Re-entry Retreat speakers. Today, I’d like to introduce you to Alethea Stoltzfus, who also participated in the first Re-entry Relaunch Mastermind and is speaking on the first day of the RELAUNCH! event.

Alethea is a traveler, foodie, photographer, writer, former homeschooler, native Pennsylvanian, current Bostonian, bookworm, cat lover, tea aficionado, and action film junkie. She currently works on the administrative side of the ESL field, and has lived in Italy and Germany. Her next trip will be to Iceland in early 2017. You’ll find Alethea at

Hi Alethea! Where were you abroad and what did you do there?

I studied abroad twice (first for a month in France, Italy, and Greece, and then for a semester in Rome, Italy), and then lived in Hamburg, Germany for a year as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant.

What was your re-entry experience like?

It was frustrating! The first two times I knew nothing about re-entry, and I felt so disconnected when I returned to the US. I coped by keeping myself busy and in denial. My third experience was a bit different, because I knew that it was coming, however it still hit me in ways that I wasn’t expecting (I was overwhelmed by American grocery stores for months after).

What do you know *now* about re-entry that you wish you’d known earlier?

That it is a very long and varied process, so there is really no way to predict exactly what will happen or how you will feel. You just have to take it one day at a time!

What’s your #1 tip for those in re-entry right now?

Connect with others, whether it’s friends, other expats, or support groups!

Why should global adventurers in re-entry participate in the RELAUNCH! retreat?

 Because it will help you in ways you will not expect!
Click below to reserve your seat at RELAUNCH! the Virtual Re-entry Retreat! 

About the Author: Dr. Cate Brubaker

Dr. Cate Brubaker is on a mission to make re-entry after living abroad a positive, transformational force (even when it’s not easy…especially when it’s not easy)! Cate is the author of the Re-Entry Roadmap workbook and the Study Abroad Re-entry Toolkit. Cate has lived in Germany, worked and traveled in 37 countries on four continents, and has helped all kinds of globetrotters successfully navigate global transitions for over 20 years.

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