Maximize Your Experience

Studying abroad is not only about the experience, but about how you integrate your new knowledge into your life upon returning home. The best way to do that is to spend some time introspectively looking at the influence it has had in your life. Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • What were my expectations for my family and friends when I returned from studying abroad?
  • What perspectives of mine have changed?
  • What is hard for me to have patience with now that I am back?
  • How has my studying abroad changed my future goals and dreams?
  • How have my friendships and relationships changed? Who do I now feel are my close friends?
  • How has my faith changed?
  • Do I respond differently now in social situations?
  • How have my style, time, and food preferences changed?
  • What did I learn about my own culture that frustrates or excites me?
  • How have my emotions changed?
  • What are my new views on politics and social justice?
  • How do I plan to communicate my study abroad experience to my friends and family?
    (Adapted from International Students, Inc.)

Practical Tips:

  • GET A JOB: Meet with Career Services to find out how to integrate your study abroad experience into your résumé and career plans. Find out what skills and qualities may have matured as a direct result of your study abroad semester.
  • Join AIM (American International Mentoring Program): Maintain a global connection while building lifelong friendships with international students. Contact:
  • GO AWAY! (Again)! We know you still have that travel “bug!” Consider a short-term missions trip through the Office of World Missions.
  • Thought about graduate school? In another country?
  • Volunteer for the Study Abroad Fair. Promote study abroad to other students!
  • Write about your experience! Interesting links:
  • Volunteer as a Global Engagement Mentor for the Center for Global Learning & Engagement: Share your story in classroom presentations, on Cougar Walk, the website, and other opportunities. An honorarium may be available. (Contact us for more info.)
  • Join Multi-Ethnic Programs, service, or social justice clubs on campus!
  • Join Facebook groups that pertain to study abroad! (Or start one!)
  • Come to the Welcome Home Re-Entry Event during Fall semesters.
  • Come hang out with us! We love to talk about the WORLD! We love pictures too!
  • Stay connected to other study abroad students! Host a reunion!