Staying international after being abroad
Events for returnees
Every semester, the OIE offers programs of interest to returning students, such as:
- Welcome/Welcome Back mixer for returning study abroad students, new international students and International Ambassadors. Meet old friends and make new ones among the international students who will be at UR this semester.
- The Return, an experience that encourages you to see UR and its campus in new ways with the new skills you developed while abroad.
- Learning Abroad Symposium for returning study abroad participants (summer or semester), Weinstein Grant recipients, and others who have traveled abroad in affiliation with UR/with UR support. Convey the significance of your experience abroad through a conference-style presentation, a song, a film, or other engaging media.
The Jepson School and the Robins School also offer programs for returning students.
Watch your email for invitations.
Staying connected to your time abroad
People returning from study abroad sometimes feel that they will “lose” their experience, or that it will be stored away like souvenirs in a shoebox. You don’t have to let that happen. There are many ways to incorporate your experience abroad into your post-study abroad life, both informally and formally.
- Make a scrapbook about your time abroad. Include pictures, train tickets, emails you sent to family and friends back home, school work you are particularly proud of, and souvenirs you collected from your time studying abroad.
- Write a post-experience journal (if you did not keep a journal while abroad). Make a list of your favorite memories, the most important things you learned, and what you do not want to ever forget.
- Keep up on the news and events taking place in your host country. Besides Internet sources, more and more cable TV companies are offering international channels that you can buy one-by-one.
- Learn to make some of the foods that you enjoyed while you were away, and share them with friends.
- Have a dinner for the international students who are from the country where you studied – they are often longing for familiar food and for people who understand them, and they will appreciate your efforts.
- Connect with other students who studied where you did, as well as those who are getting ready to go to the place where you studied. They will be able to share in your excitement and will be able to connect with your experiences.
- Make time to attend cultural events on campus and in the community.
- Explore the many ethnic restaurants in Richmond.
- Join one of the many international themed groups on campus (International Club, SALSA, Asian Beat, MSU, etc.).
- Come to the International Film Series, free and on-campus.
- Remember to check the Office of International Education website and "like" the OIE Facebook page for announcements of upcoming events and opportunities.
International photo contest
We hope you will submit entries for our annual Spiders Abroad Photo Contest. Photo contest winners will be announced at the International Reception each April. Entries are often used on our web page or in our publications.
Take action for internationalization
- The Catholic Diocese of Richmond is seeking volunteers for their Refugee Resettlement Program. Anyone can volunteer to help refugees with the transition to living in the United States, and students who speak another language can help as interpreters.
- Volunteer for events run by the study abroad staff of the OIE (annual study abroad fair, country specific orientation meetings, etc.). We always need people who can articulate what they have learned from other countries & cultures. Contact your UR study abroad advisor for opportunities.
- Apply to be an Orientation Advisor (OA) for next semester’s incoming international students. It’s a great way of getting to know interesting, dynamic, adventurous people who are trying to understand a confusing but wonderful country – just like you when you were abroad.
- Become an International Student Ambassador and be a buddy to a new international student. In addition to meeting new friends, the Ambassadors program plans social activities throughout the year.
- Work to increase funding for international education by registering with the Advocacy Centered Team (ACT) of NAFSA (the major professional organization for international educators). ACT arranges for past participants like you, who can talk from experience, to educate members of Congress about the benefits of international education. The stories that only you can tell are the ones that will encourage Congress to fund scholarships and other types of support for international education.