Get Involved on Campus
Now that you are back at Georgetown, we want you to share your experiences with others and continue the learning and growth that you started while abroad. Returnees are often asked to help out with pre-departure orientations, fairs and other outreach events, but for those who crave more, there are many groups, programs and events that will help you reconnect with the campus and become involved with the international culture at Georgetown.
If you receive federal work study, you can apply to be a peer advisor. Peer Advisors guide prospective students through the study abroad process by answering general questions and work on projects that enhance the international culture on campus including the student blog, returnee events and general outreach. Meet the current Peer Advisors!
Apply to the Digital Storytelling Project: The Digital Storytelling Project (DSP) is a collaborative cultural exchange project which provides students the opportunity and resources to reflect and express their experience of studying or living abroad through digital media. Students who are selected will participate in a workshop and create a digital story based on their experience living and studying abroad.
The Student Board of Global Education: This board is made up of study abroad returnees who help with outreach, plan events for returnees and serve as a student advisory board for the Office of Global Education.
Exchange Student Engagement Opportunities: (More information coming soon) Georgetown study abroad returnees have a number of opportunities to meet with current exchange students to promote intercultural exchange. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Become an International Orientation Ambassador: International Orientation Ambassadors are Georgetown students who volunteer during the International Orientation programs to greet new international students and welcome them to Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. and the United States.
Join the Language Exchange Program: This free service provided through the Office of Global Services is designed to connect individuals who wish to practice and improve their foreign language skills.
Join the International Student Association Listserv: The ISA hosts a variety of internationally themed events throughout the year including Global Expo, international movie nights, the i-cup soccer tournament and much, much more.
Be an e-mail contact for prospective students: The Office of Global Education compiles a list of returnees and their e-mail addresses to hand out to prospective students. All returnees are included on the list unless they choose to be taken off. Students are invited to opt out of this list after the end of their term/s abroad.
What is Reverse Culture Shock?
When we ask students what it feels like to be back, the most common response we hear is: "strange."
It is common for students returning from living and studying abroad to have a difficult time adjusting. Just as you probably found it difficult when you first arrived overseas, and just as you may have felt out of place, the experience of coming home can elicit these feelings by being more stressful than you expected. The primary cause of "reverse culture shock" is a lack of realistic expectations. Students don't realize how much they have changed from their overseas experience until they arrive home and see how their interactions with familiar people in their lives have been affected.
It can be frustrating to return home from a fantastic year, semester or summer abroad only to find that the people who have been closest to you are not interested in hearing the details. This is a very common complaint! It is also not unusual for students to feel a bit depressed during the first few months after returning home, and to spend a lot of time scheming about ways to go abroad again. Learn more about reverse culture shock here, and explore resources to deal with it here. We encourage you to consider the following suggestions:
- Keep in touch with the friends you made overseas.
- Get involved in activities that allow you to develop and practice your interests and language skills. This will help you meet new friends with similar interests.
- Keep your experience alive by talking to interested sophomores and juniors who are planning to study abroad and are anxious to benefit from your enthusiasm and expert knowledge. There are many ways to do this. We organize a study abroad fair, information sessions, and pre-departure orientations. We would love your help!
- Participate in returnee activities sponsored by OGE. In addition to the Mentor and Language Exchange Program that we run, there will be a variety of other events that interested returnees will organize. You may even want to join the Overseas Studies Student Board to help plan events and share your ideas with others.
- Get involved with campus-wide committees that allow you to express opinions that will help GU build a more diversified community. You are a valuable resource to the university!
- Join the CAPS Support Group for Students Returning From Study Abroad. Find more information here, or contact Matthew Schottland, Psy.D. at email@example.com or 202-687-7067.