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Global U Program

Preparing to Return

Re-entering the United States

Wellness after Your Program

Delays in Posting Grades

Integrating Your Experience on Campus

Global U Program

The Global U Program is designed to help students integrate their experience abroad into their lives at home, on campus, at work, and in the community. Through Career Development, Community Engagement, Language Immersion, and Research Experience, participants develop transferable skills that can be marketed to employers or highlighted on graduate school applications. Students can join the global U program any time. Students who complete the program receive a co-curricular transcript and are recognized at graduation.

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Preparing to Return

Coming home can be stressful.  Before your Program ends, think about the following details:

Category

Checklist

Financial

  • Ask if you need to pay for transportation back to the airport out-of-pocket.
  • Some countries charge an exit tax. Contact your airline to see if this was included in the cost of your ticket. If not, you will need to pay the exit tax when you arrive at the airport.
  • Settle any debts before departure (including outstanding balances or damages at your housing facility). In the event that a bill is forwarded to the University, the charges will be applied to your student tuition account.

 

Travel

  • Lines at the airport can be extremely long. Arrive at least 3 hours before your flight departs. 
  • Think about how you will get to the airport. Check bus and train schedules to make sure that they are running and budget enough time to arrive at the airport the day of your flight.
  • There are some items that cannot be brought into the U.S.  A list of restricted items can be found on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

Academic

  • Turn in any remaining assignments.
  • Verify that your affiliate or host institution will mail your transcript to Learning Abroad (if applicable).

Personal

  • Get contact information for friends or professional contacts.
  • Budget time to say good-bye or visit favorite places one last time.

 

Re-entering the United States

The process for entering the U.S. will vary.  In general, you should expect the following:

Re-entering the us

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Wellness after Your Program

Learning abroad is an intense experience.  You may experience physical and emotional symptoms after returning home.  Common symptoms include:

  • Exhaustion, fatigue, or sleeplessness
  • Dehydration
  • Discomfort with food or a change in appetite
  • Environmental adjustments (air quality, humidity, etc.)
  • Reverse Culture Shock
  • Feeling isolated or disconnected from the new friends that you made
  • Having trouble sharing your experience with others
  • Frustration when friends and family don’t seem to be interested in your experience
  • Financial Stress
  • Boredom or disappointment
  • Difficulty reconnecting with friends and family

While all of these symptoms are common, be sure to seek help if they persist.  Learning Abroad is a great resource to help you navigate these issues.  Our Global U Program Returnee Digital Seminar on YouTube has a series of videos to help students navigate re-entry.  The following tips can help you process your experience and manage common re-entry symptoms:

Type of Symptom

Tips

Physical

  •  Be observant.  These symptoms may be part of a post-travel illness.  A list of common post-travel illnesses is found on the CDC’s website.
  • Take care of yourself. Stay healthy by eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep.
  • Consider a post-program checkup.  Visit your health care provider for a checkup, especially if you had health issues abroad.

Emotional

  • Be as open and flexible as you were when you arrived in the host country. Think about the coping strategies you used to manage culture shock when you went abroad.  These tactics will work with reverse culture shock as well. 
  • Focus on the positive. Enjoy what you missed about your home.
  • Consider the value of incremental change.  It’s tempting to think that others aren’t open to your new ideas.  Cultural and community change takes time.  You may be impacting your community in an incremental way that will produce long term change.
  • Be patient and tactful when talking about your experiences. Be sensitive to those around you. Accept that they may not relate to your experiences abroad right away.

Social

  • Keep busy. Immerse yourself immediately. Get back into your classes. Get a job. Make plans with friends. Find ways to keep yourself occupied.
  • Connect with the friends you made abroad.  Write emails, send letters, and connect on social media.
  • Seek out other students who went abroad.  Spend time with others who went abroad.  They are probably struggling with the same challenges that you are!
  • Listen to those who stayed at home. Your friends and family had experiences while you were gone.  They need to feel like you are interested in their experiences, too.
  • Get involved in the community. Salt Lake City is a diverse community. Take advantage of local events and festivals that highlight world cultures.  Contact the Bennion Center for more information.

Professional & Academic

  • Put your new knowledge and skills to use. Share your experiences with local school groups. Volunteer in your community. Find a job that helps you continue to learn.
  • Take internationally-oriented courses. Review your class schedule. The U offers many internally-themed courses. Learning about international issues through an academic lens will give you a good framework for articulating your experience.
  • Study a language. The University teaches over 20 languages.  Consider taking a language class to enhance your skills.
  • Find an international research project.  Research opportunities are available in a variety of fields.  Contact the Office of Undergraduate Research for more information.
  • Get an internship.  Salt Lake is home to a number of international companies and agencies.  Talk with a Career Coach about your options.
  • Apply for a FulbrightFulbright offer students a variety of research and teaching opportunities for students.

 

Delays in Posting Grades

If you earned transfer credit on your program, there may be a delay in posting grades to your account. If you know that there will be a delay in posting your grades, contact the University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. If you intend to receive federal financial aid after your return from your program, the delay in posting your transfer credit could interfere with your ability to receive financial in the semester following your time abroad. To avoid this complication, communicate the situation to the University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid so that alternative arrangements can be made.

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Integrating Your Experience on Campus

After returning home, many students struggle to explain their experience to their peers, friends, and loved ones. This can be frustrating for recent learning abroad participants.

There are many ways to use your experience here on campus and in the community. Visit our Learning Abroad Alumni section for more details.

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Last Updated: 4/21/17