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Returned Students

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. We are 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.

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.

For general inquiries, please contact the Student Accounts Office at:

1-508-421-3801
saccounts@clarku.edu

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 psmithaidoo@clarku.edu 

Please contact finaid@clarku.edu or call 1-508-793-7478 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.

Be prepared to experience challenges with your mental health, including 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. 

Consider the resources offered by the Clark University Center for Personal Growth 

Explore other resources about mental health and reverse culture shock

Even if you are not experiencing mental health challenges upon returning from abroad, it will take time to adjust to life back home. It’s important to process and reflect on your journey, as many aspects of your life have likely been changed by your time abroad. Consider your relationships, career plans, and worldview, which all may be influenced during and after study abroad.  

Apply to become a Study Abroad Student Ambassador! Ambassadors are peer leaders and help lead events, workshops and informal gatherings, and connect returned students. Your program may also offer an ambassador program.

Know that you don’t have to have had the “perfect” study abroad experience to be an Ambassador.  Students want to hear what it was really like: the good, the bad and the ugly.  Don’t be shy and let us help you articulate the challenges you had.

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.

 

Now that you have returned home, you may feel pressure to get “back to normal,” whether that’s with your classes, friends, or familyHowever, you have just had a life-altering experience, and it’s perfectly normal to want to share your stories and reminisce. Check out these suggestions for how to stay connected to your experience and share your story.  

  • Social Media 
    • Connect with the Clarkies Abroad community on Facebook and Instagram (@clarkiesabroad)
    • Join Facebook groups that center around travel, such as Girls LOVE Travel for female identifying travelers or this Re-Entry Roadmap group, to stay connected to other experienced travelers 
  • Apply to become a Study Abroad Student Ambassador!
    • Ambassadors are peer leaders who help lead events, workshops and informal gatherings, and connect returned students. Your program may also offer an ambassador program. Know that you don’t have to have had the “perfect” study abroad experience to be an Ambassador.  Students want to hear what it was really like: the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t be shy and let us help you articulate the challenges you had. 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. 
  • Attend an Event 
    • Study Abroad regularly hosts events where you can connect with other returned students and share your experience with prospective study abroad students. Keep an eye on our social media for upcoming opportunities! 
    • The Lessons From Abroad Re-Entry Conference is 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
  • Fill out a Program Evaluation: 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. 
  • Continue learning the language of your study abroad location with a local group, online class, or app like Duolingo. 
  • Get Crafty with your Photos and Souvenirs 
    • Now that you’ve returned from abroad, you don’t have to tuck all your photos into a shoe box and move on, you can display them proudly to remind you of your experience. Here’s 10 Creative Ways to Use Your Study Abroad Photos. Check out Pinterest for other ways to display your photos!