Returning from Study Away
Home at last
Study away can be a change-your-life experience – and it doesn’t end when you get on the plane to come back.
Returning home can be both comforting and challenging. You’ll see contrasts between your experiences in another culture and your life in the U.S. Coming home is the beginning of the next step along your journey.
Every fall and spring semester the Wang Center hosts a Returner Welcome event.
PLU also offers a Returner Reflection Series. Faculty and/or administrative leaders guide students recently back from study away through a process of deeply considering many aspects of their experiences. This opportunity to thoughtfully contemplate and share with others is offered to students able to commit to attending all scheduled gatherings. For more information, please contact the Wang Center.
You may feel overwhelmed by the American lifestyle. You may question the connections between what you’ve experienced abroad and how you live here in the U.S. 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 at the PLU Counseling Center.
“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 the workshop independently.
Participants will need:
- Something to write notes on
- University of the Pacific’s list of “75 Long-Term Outcomes“
- Key Attributes Employers want to See on Students’ Resumes
- “Connect Study Away to Your Career” Worksheet
Additional Helpful Resources:
Other Ways to Get Involved
Wang Center Photo & Video Contest
Remember to save your photos for our annual Wang Center Photo & Video Contest held each spring. Enter to win Lute Bucks 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, Hong 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 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.
Put Your Experience to Work
It can be challenging to figure out apply how to apply your experience abroad within your home community. The Center for Community Engagement and Service has lots of opportunities for you to get engaged in our Parkland and Tacoma community.
PLU Career Connections developed this powerpoint about how to articulate your study away experiences in your resume and cover letter.
Videos and activities have been developed/adapted by Andrew Nelson, PLU Study Away alum (Scotland, 2013). We recommend taking a look both before and after studying away.