Welcome back! Returning home after an Education Abroad experience can sometimes feel like as much of an adjustment as going abroad. Here are some resources to help you settle back in to life after your Education Abroad experience:
Coming Home: Surviving Reverse Culture Shock
Just as you may have experienced a period of cultural adjustment when you began your Education Abroad experience, it is extremely likely that you will experience challenges in re-adapting to life in the United States (or your home country) upon return. Many students find that exposure to new cultures and different worldviews causes them to reexamine their priorities and values, as well as those of their home culture. This shift in perspective can lead to a feeling of psychological discomfort known as “reverse culture shock,” which occurs when a student returns to their home country.
Upon returning home, many students may expect to be able to pick up exactly where they left off, and are unsure how to react when returning home feels foreign. This inconsistency between expectations and reality can cause students to experience feelings of frustration, anger, alienation, loneliness, disorientation or helplessness. The degree of difficulty of readjustment will vary from individual to individual, but – in general – the better integrated you became to your host country’s culture and lifestyle, the harder it is to readjust during re-entry.
It is common to feel some degree of difficulty adjusting to life back home, but eventually things will start to seem normal again -- even if they aren’t exactly the same as when you left for your education abroad experience. The important thing is to try to incorporate the positive aspects of your international experience with the positive aspects of your life in the United States or in your home country. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family, and allow yourself time to ease back into life at home. After a period of gradual adjustment, you will most likely find that home finally feels like home again.
*Adapted from The Center for Global Education’s "Study Abroad Handbook"
Building on Your International Experience
After participating in an Education Abroad program, there are many ways you can build on your international experience. Here are a few suggestions from the Glavin Office of Multicultural & International Education:
- Represent your host institution at the Education Abroad fair, held annually in October, and share your experiences with students who are interested in participating in similar programs.
- Get involved with an internationally-focused or multicultural organization on campus. Babson has plenty of student-run organizations that have a global focus and will help you maintain a connection to your experiences from abroad.
- Enter the International Education Week Photo Contest, held annually in November, and showcase memories from your international experience for all to see! Or host an internationally-themed event as part of International Education Week.
- Share your experiences at the pre-departure sessions held for students preparing to go abroad, and help future Babson students have a similarly rewarding Education Abroad experience.
- Volunteer to be a Babson Exchange Ambassador and help an incoming exchange student adjust to life at Babson and in the United States.
- Stop by the Glavin Office and to share your experiences with us! We are always excited to hear your stories and see pictures from your experience abroad!
- Volunteer to be an Education Abroad Peer Advisor and assist prospective study abroad students with navigating the Education Abroad process, initial advising, and utilizing the resources in the Glavin office. Learn more about the great leadership opportunity by clicking on the link to the right: Education Abroad Peer Advisor - Learn More
Additionally, here are some upcoming fairs, conferences, and events
- Education Abroad Photo Contest – October 2013
- Education Abroad photo submissions for the 2013 contest are due in October 2013!
- November 2013: Photos displayed in Reynolds
- Winning photos are announced and prizes awarded!
- To view the winning photos from 2013, please click on the link to the right:Education Abroad Photo Contest Fall 2012 - Winning Photos
- Education Abroad Fair – October 26, 2012, 1-4pm in Reynolds 241
- Marketing Your International Experience to Employers – January 25, 2013
- To reserve your space in this session, please complete the survey link today! Click on the link to the right: http://babson.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_bpgsjZIUK6G6VNj
- Study Abroad Re-entry Conference - Fall 2013
- Multicultural Fair – Fall 2012
- International Education Week – November 2013
- MBA International Dinner – April 2013
Learning to Market Your International Experience to Employers
Participating in an Education Abroad program can make your resume stand out from the pack, and the Glavin Office of Multicultural & International Education has partnered with the Center for Career Development to teach you how! Held twice annually, Marketing Your International Experience to Employers is an interactive session that will help you learn to talk about your time overseas in a way that is meaningful to employers and gain a competitive advantage by incorporating your experience abroad into your resume and job interviews.
Stay tuned for more details about the next Marketing Your International Experience to Employers session!
Getting Settled at Babson
After participating in an education abroad program, you will be asked to complete a program evaluation to help us improve the program for future participants. We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions.
Verifying Transfer of Credit
Upon your return from a non-Babson education abroad program, your grades from abroad will be manually entered according to the conversion charts on the approved course spreadsheets. Prior to this, you should make sure that all of your courses have been evaluated properly and approved for Babson credit and that the grades you receive from your host institution are correctly indicated on your transcript. We strongly recommend that you verify your grades before departing your host country, as it will much easier to correct any potential errors while you are still in the same time zone! Additionally, you should save copies of all of your exams, papers and other graded material, just in case you need to provide additional documentation of your work at a later date. Finally, once your grades have been entered on to your Babson transcript, please verify that the grades and credits have been transferred correctly and match the conversion rates provided in the approved course spreadsheet.
Upon your return from your semester abroad, staff members from the following offices on campus are available to help you get settled back at Babson:
- Residential Living
- Student Affairs
- Student Financial Services
- Student Health Services
- Glavin Office of Multicultural & International Education