So you've returned home knowing that you've had the most eye-opening experience
of your life, feeling that you've grown in many ways, and wanting to continue to be
involved internationally. The following FAQs are designed just for you. They should
help you with your reentry.
What is reentry and what should I expect?
Reentry is the adjustment period that individuals go through when they return from
an extended study abroad experience. You know the feeling: no one wants to hear
another of your amazing travelogues. Your friends seem to be out of sync with your
needs. You want to share, but you feel somewhat alone in the world. These feelings
are not unusual and are just part and parcel to the great experience you've had. Technically, reentry is the adjustment period you will need to feel completely at home again. For some students this period is very short indeed, but for others it can take
longer to feel at ease with your old familiar surroundings.
IPC conducts reentry workshop for all returning study abroad students at the
beginning of each semester. A series of two workshops focus on common symptoms
and issues that students face as they try to readjust to life at home. Information is
also provided by UNCG staff, faculty and community members about ways to get
involved in “things international” and how you can capitalize on your experience
Don't forget to read the materials about reverse culture shock and reentry provided
by IPC upon your return. Be sure to share this information with your family. If you
feel extremely tired or depressed, be sure to set up an appointment with our IPC
office staff. We can give you some strategies for coping. Keep in mind that this time
will pass and before you know it, you will feel like your old self, just wiser.
Click here for some helpful websites.
Do I need to do anything to keep my financial aid?
Yes! Within one month of returning from your exchange, you should contact IPC and provide us with verification that you did complete your program and that we can
expect grades. Failure to do so may make you ineligible for financial aid or
scholarships. You can fill out the following form and return it to IPC for verification
of completion of your program. If you studied abroad in the fall your transfer of
credit must be completed by March 15 of the following semester, if you studied for
the full year or the spring semester the credit must be posted by October 1.
How do I ensure that my transfer credit is done?
As soon as the new semester starts you should call IPC to see if your transcript
has arrived. It is your responsibility to follow through with the transfer of credit
process. If the transcript has not arrived, you will need to continue to contact IPC
until you know that the transcript has arrived and that the courses are posted to
your transcript. You will make a 15-minute appointment with IPC staff once your
transcript has arrived in order to discuss your transfer of credit.
There are three common scenarios:
- you participated on a pre-approved program,
- all courses were pre-approved on your transfer credit form,
- you made some changes while you were gone and took courses that are not
on the transfer credit form.
The third scenario requires that you have your department write a memo on
your behalf to get major credit. This memo will go directly to the University
Registrar's Office. You will be given advice on how to get that memo in a timely
How can I be involved with "things international" now that I have returned?
There are many ways to keep yourself involved internationally. Two of those are
discussed below (ISA and PAL); be sure to read on. Various departments have
activities that can keep you abreast of international events (Political Science,
Romance Languages, German and Russian, to name but a few). You will receive
IPC's Newsworthy, which should also help keep you informed. Many university
organizations have an international focus (e.g., Rotaract, Model UN). Take the
opportunity to participate. If you are serious about going abroad again, come by
IPC for advice on going abroad again. Don't forget about Phillips-Hawkins
(aka I-House). All activities are open to students across campus, but you can
apply to live there in order to meet and interact with our international students on
a more regular basis.
I'd like to make a classroom presentation, but how can I do it?
As part of your travel grant responsibilities, we have asked you to help promote
study abroad and exchanges. Of course, all your friends will be a captive audience,
but we ask that you make classroom presentations. You are welcome to come by
IPC and pick up promotional materials to distribute. Just ask your new faculty
(and old) whether you could make a brief presentation about the opportunities that
UNCG provide for international study and travel. Your participation will ensure that
our programs continue to thrive--you know, you are our best diplomats!! After all,
you were chosen to go abroad.
What is ISA and how can I be involved?
The International Student Association (ISA) is an active organization on campus
whose focus is intercultural exchange for our students. It is very easy to be involved.
Any student who participates in two activities is considered to be a member. To get
your name on the distribution list, just write an email requesting that you be put on
the list to Michael Elliott. That way, you'll know in advance of the various activities.
The weekly Friday fests and the yearly International Fest are activities sponsored by
ISA. For more information click here.
What is the PAL Program?
UNCG's Peer Academic Liaison (PAL) Program is intended to help international
students get integrated into our university. All you have to do to be a PAL is simply
write an email expressing your interest to Tom Martinek, Jr. Click here to learn more!
Whatever method you find works for you, be sure to expand on your international experience. You will find that it will serve you well.