It’s a funny thing coming home… Everything looks the same, feels the same,
even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.
–F. Scott Fitzgerald
Whether you are newly back from studying abroad or have had plenty of time to settle in and readjust to your life here, chances are your experience abroad is still very vivid in your mind. As education abroad alumni, we often feel that our time spent living in a foreign country changed our world views, altered the course of our education, and even influenced our future career choices. Although each study abroad student comes back a changed person, at some point we have all said or thought to ourselves, “I want to go back!”
Here you will find resources to help you readjust to life in the United States while staying connected to the unforgettable experiences you had and people you met while abroad. You will find opportunities to meet other education abroad alumni, share your valuable knowledge with other students, get involved with international events, and plan your next adventure abroad.
Return from Abroad To-Do List
- Schedule your check-in appointment with the CIE office to ensure your study abroad academic matters are in order and discuss your experience abroad
- Prior to attending your check-in appointment, complete either the Education Abroad Program Evaluation or the Faculty-Led Program Evaluation as appropriate
- Check-up on loans, aid, scholarships, and any possible financial holds on your student account
- Ensure that you have finalized your housing assignment and meal plan
- Check your campus post office box for any materials received while abroad
- Purchase an updated parking permit
- Make sure that you are registered for the necessary courses and that none have duplicate credits from those you took abroad
- Work with CIE to monitor the progress of your transfer credits
- If you submitted an Experiential Learning or Global Inquiry Contract prior to your time abroad, be sure to submit the “reflective component” to your faculty sponsor to satisfy the requirement.
- Learn strategies for coping with Reverse Culture Shock and dealing with Reentry into US Culture
- Check out opportunities to travel abroad again!
Connect with Other Alumni
- Attend a “Lessons from Abroad” study abroad returnee conference
- Read up on happenings overseas on the Study Abroad Blogs
- Follow CIE on Facebook
- Be part of the UMW Study Abroad Alumni Affinity Group
- Read Education Abroad Alumni Stories Beyond the Stamp (bios)
Get Involved with CIE
- Apply to be a volunteer Peer Advisor. Peer Advisors are CIE’s first line of advising for students interested in education abroad opportunities and work 2-6 hours per week at CIE’s front desk.
- Consider living in the International Living Community, which is Themed (on-campus) housing at Framar House.
- Volunteer at study abroad events, such as the Education Abroad Fair and the Global Cafe. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
Share Your Experience
- Be an Alumni Referral: let CIE know if you would like your name to be referred to prospective study abroad students who could benefit from your experience
- Host a Student Information Session in the CIE office and lead an informal talk about your country and program for interested students
- Submit photos and stories to CIE’s monthly e-newsletter Postcards from Abroad
- Enter the CIE Photo Contest – Submit up to three full-quality photos with your name, program and term to email@example.com for consideration
- Blog about your experience.