Welcome back from your study abroad! We hope that your study abroad journey was an enjoyable and transformational experience. Re-entry can be both an exciting and confusing time. You may be asking yourself, “I’m back… now what?” Below you'll find some resources that will help you transition into thinking about your international future.
While abroad, some courses that you may have received approval for prior to departure may not be have been offered at your host institution. If you took courses that were not been previously approved, you must still get them approved while abroad or upon your return to Pace. Your transcript from abroad will not be processed by the Registrar at Pace until all of your course approvals have been received. Follow these step-by-step instructions.
If you have not already done so, contact your host university to request that your transcript be sent to Pace Education Abroad:
163 William Street, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Are you attending graduate school in the USA?
If you're planning on attending graduate school after you finish your undergraduate degree at Pace, you will likely need to request an official transcript from your school abroad. To do so, visit the school's website and follow their stated procedure for requesting a transcript. You can order the transcript(s) to be sent to yourself or to the grad school directly, but if you send it to yourself be careful not to open the envelope containing the transcript as this will make the transcript no longer an official transcript.
Tip: When ordering a transcript from abroad, order an extra one or two to keep on hand in case you need them in the future!
Reverse Culture Shock
Just as you probably experienced some degree of cultural adjustment upon arrival to your host country overseas, you will likely experience some form of reverse culture shock upon your return. It can look different for each individual, affecting some people to a greater extent than others or coming in waves over days, weeks, or months. Some common challenges of reverse cultural adjustment are feeling boredom; finding it hard to explain your study abroad experience; not feeling like others want to hear about your experiences or that they don't understand you; reverse homesickness for your study abroad country; realizing personal relationships have changed; or feeling alienated. Your view of the United States or your home culture may have changed while gaining a new perspective abroad, and it could take some time to readjust to your life back home. Some tips to manage this readjustment include:
- Talk with people who understand your situation - like the Pace Education Abroad office staff or fellow classmates who have also studied abroad (Pace's Study Abroad Club)
- Connect with international students at Pace who are studying abroad in New York
- Incorporate parts of your life or the culture from abroad back at home
- Turn your photos and memories into a scrapbook - you'll want to capture the memories while they are still fresh
- Create space to intentionally re-connect with family and friends - and ask them what is new with them!
- Keep a journal to record your reactions about being home and identify coping strategies
- Keep an open mind, the same way you did when you went abroad
- Identify what you are looking forward to when returning home
- Share your story - save a few photo highlights on your phone ready to show people; prepare specific adjectives beyond "awesome, fun, challenging" to describe your experience; have a few example stories of why it was "awesome, fun, challenging"
- Understand that others have a different, less involved relationship to your study abroad experience than you and therefore, may not be as interested in hearing about every detail of your adventures and accomplishments as you will be in sharing those experiences. Instead, think ahead about a short answer; medium answer; and long answer to the standard "How was it?" question.
- Give yourself a break! It takes time to readjust.
There are many on-line resources that help students better understand reverse culture shock. If you would like to seek out professional help, contact the Pace Counseling Center.
Study abroad is more than just learning in a classroom. It is in your daily lives, explorations, and cultural encounters where the most personal growth occurs. These soft skills are what employers are looking for and it is your job to help translate your experience into your future career! Here are some links that provide information on how to freshen up your resumes and interviews by adding your study abroad experience.
How do you put study abroad on your resume? Outline the academic components of your studies abroad on your resume: the courses you took, presentations you gave, and projects you worked on. Think about "soft skills" that you've strengthened during study abroad — intercultural fluency, critical thinking/problem solving, flexibility, adaptability, initiative, cross-cultural communication, working in global teams, and self-awareness. There is a rising demand from employers for global-ready graduates. Be sure to highlight the diversity of your experiences abroad, that you willingly went out of your comfort zone, and the fact that you succeeded in navigating a new culture, currency, transportation system, language, etc. Include real examples of how you've demonstrated these soft skills in your cover letter, and how you overcame specific challenges abroad. In addition, you can leverage the new friends and contacts you made abroad to network for jobs. For help translating your experience abroad into your future career, visit Career Services at Pace. There are also many on-line resources to guide students in turning their study abroad into a resume builder.
Be a PAL - get involved in helping others go abroad!
Pace Abroad Leaders (PALs) are Pace students who have studied abroad and have an interest in helping prospective students through the study abroad process (while developing resume-enhancing skills). Study abroad alumni provide valuable first-hand advice and expertise that is a great resource for students. As a PAL, you'll be a representative of Pace Education Abroad You must be enthusiastic and informed about our policies, procedures, and programs. You'll gain skills in public speaking, event organization, communication skills, and working in an administrative environment. If you're interested in becoming a PAL, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Join the International Buddy Program!
When back at Pace, you have the opportunity to continue your international connections and friendships. The International Buddy Program through the Pace International department strives to make incoming international students feel welcome and help them transition to life in the U.S. and at Pace University. Help a fellow student learn their way around campus and attend events both on and off campus together. If you are a current Pace student (domestic or international), apply to be a Mentor Buddy.