So, you’re back from abroad. Now what?
All students handle their return from abroad or away in a different manner. For some, it’s a pre-professional stepping stone. For others, it’s a reflective and personal experience. For many, it’s both. The LEEP Center is here to help you articulate these experiences for both your personal and professional growth. Come talk to us and read below for what you can expect.
Take care of financial aid and your return.
After your program ends, your transcript may not arrive right away. You may receive emails stating your financial aid won’t be applied until your grades are posted. Don’t worry. Grades don’t get submitted from abroad as quickly as they do when you’re at Clark.
The Study Abroad and Away Office will receive, translate and record your grades, and then forward them to the Registrar’s Office. Please contact your Student Accounts Counselor to discuss payment arrangements prior to the due date. That way you’ll be set whether your grades are posted prior to the bill due date or not.
Student Accounts Counselors
In the meantime, your aid packages will still be processed providing you have submitted all the required documents. However, you will NOT be able to view your award on the CUWeb, nor will you receive an official letter from the Financial Aid Office until your grades are in. Student Accounts will have access to your estimated award package and will be able to provide an estimated account balance as needed.
Financial Aid Counselor
Pearl Smith- Aidoo, Study Abroad Counselor for Financial Aid
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-793-7478 should you have additional questions about your aid package.
You may continue to receive emails until grades are posted. Please do not worry. There is no need to contact anyone, as we will process your transcripts as soon as we receive them. The only other reason that you may not receive grades is if you have not completed your coursework or you have outstanding bills with your host program. If this is the case, please be sure to take care of these matters as soon as possible.
Explore reverse culture shock.
Be prepared to experience some degree of reverse culture shock upon returning home. Some researchers say that this stage of cultural development can be even more intense than the original cultural shock abroad. In some cases, you may even experience a period of depression or longing to return abroad. Some students may need to talk a lot. Others may seem withdrawn or unwilling to communicate about their experiences. Again, these feelings are not unusual, but they do require monitoring. Below are some resources that can help ease the transition.
- ISEP Study Abroad: 6 Tips for Dealing With Reverse Culture Shock
- GoAbroad.com Dealing With Reverse Culture Shock
- State Department: Reverse Culture Shock
- USAC (University Studies Abroad Consortium)
- USA Today: 5 ways to cope with reverse culture shock
- Before & After: Take the NAFSA Skills Inventory
Fill out a program evaluation. Become a study abroad ambassador.
Want to share your experience with others? Submit a program evaluation and share it with us. Your comments provide an important resource for prospective study abroad students as they search for a program.
Consider becoming a Study Abroad Student Ambassador, a peer leader/advisor for all returned students. They help lead events, workshops and informal gatherings, as well as help connect returned students. Your program may also offer an ambassador program.
Study Abroad is always willing to work with students who wish to get involved, including tabling, handing out fliers, speaking at info sessions or simply submitting your contact information to be given to prospective students.
In addition, every year the office hires two student workers at the end of each year and we encourage all returned students to apply!
Attend the Lessons From Abroad Re-Entry Conference.
Held annually in New England. Conference highlights include:
- Meeting other recent study abroad returnees from all over New England
- Hearing from dynamic and motivating keynote speakers
- Learning how to talk about your newly acquired global skills in a job interview
- Discovering how you can work or study abroad after graduation
- Networking with professionals working in internationally-focused jobs
- Staying connected to and sharing stories about your study abroad experience
- This is a great opportunity to network with other students and professionals. We ask that you dress business casual and bring several copies of your resume.
Go abroad again!