Returning from Study Away

Home at last

Studying away can be a change-your-life experience – and it doesn’t end when your program ends.

Returning back to PLU can be both comforting and challenging. You’ll see contrasts between your experiences in another culture and your life back on campus. Coming home is the beginning of the next step along your journey.

Connect with the Wang Center if you would like support processing your experience.

birds migrating over water
Photo by Brook McIntyre

You may feel overwhelmed by the American lifestyle. You may question the connections between what you’ve experienced abroad and life back in the Pacific Northwest. It may be difficult to find connections to your coursework on campus. There are plenty of resources at PLU to help you process your time abroad, connect with other students who have had similar experiences, re-engage in your community and plan for the next phase of your journey. You may also want to consider discussing this transition with PLU Counseling Services.

“Market your Study Away Experience” workshop

Are you working on your applications (jobs, graduate school, etc.) and unsure of how to articulate your study away experiences in a meaningful way? Studying away provides students with attributes that can be applied in many aspects of life. The Wang Center has developed a workshop to help students identify knowledge, skills, and attitudes developed or strengthened through study away, and then articulate these competencies for professional purposes.

This video was designed for returned students to complete this workshop independently.

Participants will need:

Additional Helpful Resources:

Other Ways to Get Involved

Wang Center Photo & Video Contest

Remember to save your photos and videos for our annual Wang Center Photo & Video Contest held each spring. Enter to win prizes and have your photo and/or video displayed on campus!

Live on campus

A great way to reconnect with PLU upon return is living in an intentional living community on campus. For example, Kreidler Global Hall provides a language and globally-focused living space that will keep your study away experiences alive.

PLU Global Campus Connection

Now that you’ve been an international student you know it can be hard to meet locals. Participate in the Global Campus Connection (GCC) program, where new international students are matched with current PLU students!

Global Ambassadors

Global Ambassadors provide peer support to study away students before, during, and after an off-campus study experience. They’ve spent at least a semester studying abroad, so they know what its like to try to settle back in.

Keep an eye out each Spring Semester for the Global Ambassador application and deadline. Please contact the Wang Center for more information.


Activities were developed/adapted by Andrew Nelson, PLU study away alum (University of Aberdeen, Scotland  | 2013).

Put Your Experience to Work

Nev Granum feeding a couple giraffesContinue Your Global Education

Apply for a Wang Center Research Grant on your own or with a PLU faculty member to fund a research project internationally or within the US.


Alumni & Student Connections developed this presentation on how to articulate your study away experiences in your resume and cover letter.