OGE has compiled resource for students as they return from study abroad. Whether you are struggling with “reverse culture shock”, wishing to reflect on your study abroad experience, or hoping to make the most of everything you learned, our Returnee Guide provides tips on:
- Preparing for your return
- Stages of Reentry and support resources on campus
- Ideas for returning abroad through graduate school, fellowships, or work
- Putting study abroad on your resume
As you return from study abroad, you may experience 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.
You may find that the people who have been closest to you are not interested in hearing the details of your time abroad or that you are feeling a bit glum during the first few months after returning home.
Some tips for dealing with Reverse Culture Shock are:
- 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, such as the OGE Ambassador Program. 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.
- 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!
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.
- Volunteer: 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.
- Work in OGE: 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 Peer Advisors.
- 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.
- Language Exchange Program: The Language Exchange Program (new window) is a free service provided through the Office of Global Services is designed to connect individuals who wish to practice and improve their foreign language skills.
- Global Living Community: The primary goal of the Global Living Community (new window) is to create a community in which intercultural understanding extends beyond the classroom into daily student life.
- International Student Association Listserv: The International Student Association 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.