Roger Williams University
Spiegel Center For Global & International Programs
Bristol, RI 02809
(401) 254-3899
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Spring: October 2
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When you Return from Abroad

Back Home!


So, you didn’t imagine coming home could be more difficult than adapting to a foreign culture?  Perhaps it’s that you’ve changed but things back home have stayed the same?  Or does being back home seem to be a bit confining?  or confusing? Maybe you really miss your host country and the friends you made there?  Whatever the reasons may be, you are not alone.  Many others who have come back from a semester abroad are facing the same challenges.  Here are the Top 10 re-entry challenges:


  1. Boredom
  2. No one wants to hear about your semester abroad anymore
  3. It is difficult to explain how the experience has effected you
  4. You miss your host country
  5. Relationships have changed
  6. Not everyone thinks you’ve changed for the best
  7. People don’t understand the rituals, phrases, dress, etc. that you’ve adopted from your host culture
  8. You feel alienated
  9. You are not able to apply the new skills and knowledge you’ve aquired
  10. You fear loosing your experience


There are several things we can suggest to help you make your re-adjustment to home less stressful:


  • Get involved on campus with international activities and initiatives
  • Get involved with the Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs as a peer advisor: speak to prospective study abroad students about your experience: encourage others to study abroad
  • Volunteer to help market the programs on campus by speaking about your experiences at information sessions and pre-departure orientations       
  • Visit the Multi-Cultural Center and get involved with RWU’s international students and their activities: remember how much you craved getting to know students from your host country? Now you know how valuable it is to have contact with natives while you are abroad.
  •  Help meet and orient international exchange students to life at RWU.
  • Join a language club
  • Participate in the International Film Festival that we will host on campus this spring
  • Attend various symposiums, forums and lectures hosted on campus each semester
  • Read books, view films and look for art exhibits that remind you of your host country
  • Stay in touch with the friends you made while abroad
  • Visit RWU’s Career Center to speak to an advisor about working or completing graduate studies abroad.  The RWU Career Center website ( has many great on-line resources for you to look into.  Here is the list as it appears on-line:

International Resources:

     For more info on teaching English jobs abroad, see below links and those in education

  • comprehensive site with multiple links and information on working, studying, traveling, and living abroad (we have their magazine in the Career Library) 
  • Newsletter published bi-monthly, reports currently available teaching and other English language-related positions at schools, institutions and companies all across Japan

· Global Volunteer Network - opportunities to teach English and participate in environmental work, health and sanitation, and cultural home stays.

· opportunities to teach abroad in Asia and South America

· search by company, industry, location, or keyword

· search national or international jobs

· Monster Canada

· Monster Australia

· Monster Ireland

· Monster India

· Empowering people with disabilities around the world by ensuring their inclusion in international exchange and international development programs

· work abroad and study abroad opportunities

· international job board covering 25 industries

· source for international opportunities abroad including: language immersion programs, internships, work and volunteer programs, learning holidays, teaching and high school camps

· International Opportunities Program at CIE with lots of links to other useful sites

· Peace Corps website

· special sections for jobs abroad, internships abroad, and studying abroad

· job search and teaching jobs sections - and more

· work/travel programs around the world

· CDS International (CDS), founded in 1968, is a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of international practical training opportunities

· Association for International Practical Training - for non-American citizens finding experiential opportunities in the US, and for internships abroad

· jobs overseas







Roger Williams University Spiegel Center for Global and International Programs