Looking back while looking forward
Your time abroad was without a doubt something to remember and look back on. We hope that it is an experience that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. You had some exciting times, some challenging moments, some new experiences and some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Study Abroad is a rare glimpse into a different country, living immersed in another culture, sharing a new life. You might almost consider yourself "fluent" in your host environment.
Returning home from study abroad can be a challenging and difficult time. For some, readjusting to life at home can be as difficult as adjusting to life in your host culture abroad. This period of re-adjustment can also be the time when you learn the most from your cross-cultural experience. As you re-adjust to the culture of the United States and to the culture of college life in the U.S., it may be helpful to know a little more about what you are going through and some positive ways of dealing with it. We have developed the following pages specifically for students returning from study abroad. If, however, you would rather come in and speak with any one of the Education Abroad Advisers at the Office for Education Abroad, please don't hesitate to do so.
Ways to connect back to campus
After you conquer the hurdle of reverse culture shock, you realize that the show must go on. But what in the world are you going to do with this vast knowledge and experience that you just acquired? The challenge before you now is to make the most of it.
- Attend the Welcome Back Dinner This will be the first chance for you to learn about ways to stay involved with international education at CSB/SJU and begin to formulate a bigger plan for your international portfolio. This dinner, hosted by OEA, takes place during the second or third week of each semester. Watch your email and campus mail for more details.
- Become a Study Abroad ambassador Do you find that your friends and family are sick and tired of listening to your stories, but you still want to talk more? There are many students who are interested in going abroad and they want to hear your stories.
- Continue to document your journey. There are resources to help you continue to process how important your study abroad experience was. You may find it helpful to blog, journal, sing, write poems or just share your transition (either in private or in public).
- Join the photo contest You can submit photos to the CSB/SJU photo contest. Relive your experiences while searching for the best photos to submit. You can share your stories with the CSB/SJU campuses. And you may even win a great prize!
- MN Study Abroad Returnee Conference Colleges and universities from around the states of Minnesota have joined forces to offer an annual Study Abroad Returnee Conference. This day is designed to help you take your international experience to the next level.
- Think Globally and Act Locally
Ways to engage beyond CSB/SJU
- Visit Career Services and discover how information about your international experiences on your resume.
- Going Global for International Employment Links.
- Go abroad again The most common reaction from students upon return is "When can I go back?!" So, when can you? Consider visiting your host country again to participate in a work, intern or volunteer experience. Or venture into uncharted territory and expand your international portfolio.