Re-entry Integration and Application
Studying away from campus is not only about the experience, but also about how you integrate new knowledge, skills, and perspectives into your life upon returning. The best way to do that is to spend some time introspectively looking at the influence it has had in you. Here are a few questions to get you started:
On personal change:
- How have my style, time, and food preferences changed?
- How have my emotions changed?
- What perspectives of mine have changed?
- What did I learn about my own culture that frustrates or excites me?
- How has my faith been transformed?
- What is hard for me to have patience with now that I am back?
- Do I respond differently now in social situations?
- Were different transitions more difficult than others?
- Did I experience any reverse culture shock? If so, how did I respond to that?
- What were my expectations for my family and friends when I returned from studying abroad?
- How have my friendships and relationships changed?
- Who do I now feel are my close friends?
- How do I plan to communicate my study abroad experience to my friends and family?
On vocational change:
- How has studying abroad changed my future goals and dreams?
- What are my new views on politics and social justice? How do these new views affect my vocational goals?
- How can I apply what I learned while abroad to my future goals?
Continue to reflect on your experience by thinking through the questions in the Study Away: Self-Reflection Questions individually or with a small group. Help speak into the lives of other students and the APU community. Be an effective voice for the people and issues you’ve seen first-hand.
On-Campus Re-Entry Programs and Resources
Be sure to maximize each event and resource available for all Study Away Alumni listed in On-campus Opportunities. There are valuable re-entry celebrations, reunions, and resources each semester.
Tips for Navigating Some of the Re-entry Process:
- How was your trip?
- In our culture, this is a common question that people will ask. Why not be prepared for it and make the most of it? Respond to the question by offering information about a specific event, specific person, or thing that happened while you were abroad to share. Or tell them what you are still 'thinking' through.
- Try to have a 30-second answer and a 3-minute answer to use depending on who is asking and the context. Think about who you would like to ask to meet for coffee/tea later so you can really catch up and talk more.
- Try not to think poorly of people that ask this question in passing and may not really engage in your response. Just like saying “How are you?” can sometimes just mean “hello” in the U.S., “How was your trip?” can sometimes just mean “Hi!" or “Let's talk more later.” Remember to ask about their last semester. Ask yourself, “How much am I listening to others?”
Additional Re-Entry Resources:
- APU CGLE (Study Abroad) Student Development Mentor Team: firstname.lastname@example.org, (626) 857-2440
- APU Counseling Center: (626) 815-2109
- What’s Up With Culture? Welcome Back Module
- U.S. Global Scholar Program: Course 3 – Once You Return
- Activity: How was your trip? Self-Disclosure Exercise
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