Baldwin Wallace University Study Abroad Returnee Resource Guide

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction Cultural Readjustment Keeping Your Study Abroad Experience Alive Volunteer Opportunities On Campus Involvement Social Media Marketing Your Study Abroad Experience Skills Gained Resume Cover Letter Interview Post Graduate International Experiences Teach Abroad Working Abroad & International Careers Graduate School Abroad

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INTRODUCTION Welcome back to Baldwin Wallace and to the United States! When students return from studying abroad life can be different and many may experience a readjustment period. A good way to handle this transition is to keep your study abroad experience alive and an active part of your daily life. Some ways to do this include on campus involvement, leadership experiences, volunteer experiences, and keeping up with Study Abroad on social media. This resource guide provides you with multiple resources to help you readjust back to life at home, keep your experience alive, and leverage your study abroad experience when pursuing post graduate opportunities both abroad or in the United States. Additionally, students will want to consider how to speak professionally about their study abroad experience, how to articulate it on a resume, and how to turn it into a leadership or networking opportunity. Whether you are interested in working abroad, pursing graduate school abroad or finding a career here in the United States with an international component, this guide can assist you in your search. Finally, you are encouraged to stop into the Study Abroad Office located on the 2nd floor of the Student Union for additional support, assistance and with any questions you may have!



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Returning to the United States after studying abroad can be challenging and you may experience re-entry shock as you readjust to life back on your home campus. Re-entry shock is also referred to as reverse culture shock, it is real and it is normal. Can you see yourself on the graph below?


Re-entry shock may look like: Restlessness/Boredom Depression Uncertainty/confusion about the future Changes in life goals/priorities Others don’t seem to understand you Negativity or intolerance toward the U.S. including common behaviors, attitudes, and customs Missing people, places, attitudes, or lifestyles of your host country


Each semester, the Study Abroad Office hosts a Study Abroad Photo Contest. Students who have studied abroad in the previous semester are eligible to submit photos. This is a great way to keep your experience alive and reflect after studying abroad. Finalists’ photos are exhibited in the Student Life Center and featured on our Social Media channels. Winners receive a prize!

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The resources below contain reflection activities and videos that can assist you in understanding your experience, remembering, analyzing, and interpreting your time abroad. Ten Re-Entry Challenges The Stages of Reverse Culture Shock Tips for Managing Reverse Culture Shock The One Thing All Returnees Want


KEEPING YOUR EXPERIENCE ALIVE ON CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT Join a Cultural Organization on campus such as African Disapora Society, Black Student Alliance, Chinese Club, French Club, German Club, Hispanic Alliance Student Association, International Film Series Committee, Middle Eastern Culture Club, Spanish Club or Student Diversity Council. Become a Study Abroad Peer Advisor, the Peer Advisor Program connects study abroad alums with students who are interested in studying abroad and provides you the opportunity to share about your study abroad experience with campus – email to learn how to apply for the position. Become an International Student Ambassador. As an Ambassador, you have the opportunity to welcome international students to the US and help them adjust to BW. E-mail to learn how to apply for the position. Assist with and attend cultural events on campus such as the Study Abroad Fair, I Heart Travel Week, Culture Night, and the Academic and Cultural Events Series (ACES).


Stay connected with Study Abroad by following us on Social Media to see students currently abroad and receive information about campus events!

Follow us @bwstudyabroad on:

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT “Becoming an International Student Ambassador has been one of the best things I could have done after coming home from my semester abroad. I have been able to continue learning about different cultures and share what I have learned when I was abroad. I’ve met some of the best people who I know I will be friends with for life and have been able to connect to those who are going through some of the same things I did when I was studying abroad. Being an ISA has kept my study abroad experience alive in every possible way even without being out of the U.S.”

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–Jayme Gayheart, Kingston University Spring 2019


KEEPING YOUR EXPERIENCE ALIVE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES You have been fortunate enough to travel abroad and, hopefully, gain a valuable new perspective on your community. Now you have the opportunity to give something back! The David and Frances Brain Center for Community Engagement arranges student-led service projects throughout the Cleveland area Monday through Thursday, one time service opportunities throughout the academic year, and alternative breaks which provides students with the opportunity to spend their college break serving with other students, while traveling throughout the U.S. Contact the Brain Center at (440) 8262403, or visit them on the 2nd floor of the union for more information.

PEACE CORPS PREP Bringing together BW coursework with purposeful service and intercultural experience, the BW Peace Corps Prep program provides a pathway to prepare students for international development work and potential Peace Corps service.

In the BW Peace Corps Prep program you will:

Contact a BW Peace Corps Prep Advisor to get started: OR: Christie Shrefler -, 440-826-8111 Christy Walkuski, PhD -, 440-826-2301

Engage in academic coursework and service-learning experiences that emphasize intercultural understanding and community engagement Gain the necessary skills and experience to prepare you for international service Prepare to undertake the Peace Corps application process Develop competitive, long-term career skills Receive a completion certificate from the Peace Corps Even if you are not thinking about joining the Peace Corps, this certificate will look great on your resume and help you build the skills you need for post grad life!

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MARKETING YOUR STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE Students who have international experience are different than those who have not. Your unique set of skills and experiences set you apart from the average student. It also looks great on a resume and makes your undergraduate experience unique. However, potential employers or members of graduate or professional school admissions may lack these experiences themselves. It is up to you to effectively communicate the skills and proficiency's that will benefit their organization, convince them of the value of your experience, and demonstrate how this experience sets you apart from other applicants. You will have the opportunity to do this in your resume, your cover letter and even during your interview.

SKILLS GAINED What skills or proficiencies have you acquired or enhanced while you were abroad? The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), through a task force of college career services and Human Resources professionals, has developed a definition, based on extensive research among employers, and identified eight competencies associated with career readiness. These competencies are also cited as skills that professionals with international experience have gained (see below). Take some time to reflect and write down those that come to mind. Then think of a brief, yet specific, example that illustrates each of the skills/attributes on your list. Career Readiness Skills: Critical Thinking/Problem Solving Oral/ Written Communications Teamwork/Collaboration Digital Technology Leadership Professionalism/ Work Ethic Career Management Global/ Intercultural Fluency







“My study abroad experience pushed me to be thorough in having a plan, especially when traveling, but also be flexible when plans don’t work out and adaptable in finding a new plan. In my current professional role, I am working with a program that has been expanded significantly. Being flexible in trying new processes of program administration and communication with the students I serve has been important in my role. Studying abroad has also given me a better understanding to the way cultures might be similar or differ, and has allowed me to better connect with people I meet in my professional life. I also learned patience and persistence during my experience abroad through being in a new environment that pushed me outside my comfort zone, and challenged me.” ~Haley Spangler, Umeå University Fall 2017, Ghana Beat Spring 2019

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RESUME & COVER LETTER RESUME We recommend adding your study abroad experience to your resume as soon as possible after returning home, while the experience is still fresh in your mind. Reflecting on your experiences will aid you in creating bulleted action statements that convey what you have gained from your study abroad experience that you can bring into the workplace. Please see the resource section for example resumes, cover letters, and writing guides. Some places to include that experience on your resume include: 1. Education Section: Consider including specific skills that are related to your academic experience. Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, OH Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies, May 2024 Minor in Spanish Cumulative GPA: 3.5/4.0 Major GPA: 3.6/4.0 Universidad del Centro Educativo Latin America (UCEL), Rosario, Argentina, Summer 2022 Lived in Argentina for 8-weeks Developed conversational Spanish language skills Gained experience understanding different perspectives through an in-depth understanding of cultural variations 2. Experience Section: If you completed an internship or participated in a volunteer experience while abroad you can include it as part of your work experience or volunteer experience section. Mission Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala Summer Intern, Summer 2023 Organized volunteer outreach and managed schedules for groups of 10-30 volunteers per day Provided outreach to under-served Guatemalan communities through assisting the team with construction and other work projects Increased Spanish fluency through interacting with locals and navigating throughout the country

COVER LETTER A cover letter complements the experiences outlined in your resume. It should not replicate them exactly. Your cover letter should highlight attributes that set you apart from other candidates. Some questions to ask yourself: How does your experience relate to your field? How might your international experience uniquely benefit a professional in that field?

Examples: My education in China increased my cross cultural competence as I learned about the cultural differences that influence consumers and will improve my ability to contribute to international marketing initiatives. My experience living and studying in Argentina strengthened my Spanish skills while also providing me with the opportunity to adapt to various communication styles and interact effectively while working with the local population.

RESUME & COVER LETTER RESOURCES BW Career Services Curriculum Vitae Writing Guide BW Career Services Resume & Cover Letter Writing Guide Study Abroad and Service Sample Resume IES Study Abroad Resume Example

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INTERVIEW When speaking to potential employers it is important to be able to articulate the unique experience that you had abroad, through examples and storytelling. It is important to remember not to assume that the interviewer will realize how your international experience is relevant to your candidacy. As evidenced in the skills section studying abroad provides you with multiple skills that can help you to be successful in your professional career, whether that career has an international component or not. Consider in advance where and how you will refer to your experience abroad.

APPLICABLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Tell me about a time when you: Dealt with uncertainty or ambiguity. Confronted a challenging situation. Had to handle conflict. Had to learn something new.

While abroad, did you: Complete a specific project or research applicable to your field of interest? Travel independently? Learn to work with a more diverse group of people? Resolve a conflict based on misunderstandings or cultural differences? Learn new activities, languages, hobbies, or skills?

RESOURCES Schedule a mock interview with Career Services to practice how you will articulate the skills and experiences you gained. Contact Career Services at or 440-826-2101. Handshake Big Interview STAR Method Check out the IES Study Abroad Tool Kit Utilize the STAR Method to answer interview questions

1. 2. 3. 4.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT “When I interviewed for my current position, my employer was very pleased to hear that I was culturally competent, thanks to my study abroad experiences in both Spain and Ghana. Because I work for a global company, they have offices all over the world and knowing that I was going to be in communication with attorneys, secretaries and legal staff from all over the world definitely made me seem more competent for the job. Hiring me as an employee further emanates their overall integrity as a global company that is inclusive to all cultures no matter their politics. Being able to talk about my study abroad experience at my interview definitely set me apart and helped me obtain my current role.” ~Maya Ajtún-Castillo, Sevilla Spain Spring 2017, Ghana Beat Spring 2019

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Situation Task Action Result

WORKING ABROAD & INTERNATIONAL CAREERS It is important to understand the difference between working abroad and having an international career. Working abroad means you have a job in another country. Most companies are looking for engineers, computer experts, scientists or medical personnel. More and more companies are hiring host nationals to work in their offices abroad. In order to successfully work abroad it is helpful to have extensive experience in the country you plan to work. What passport do you hold? If you have dual citizenship it will be much easier for you to find employment. For example, if you have a French passport, you can legally work in any country within the European Union. Sponsorship- If you don't have the proper passport to work in your target country, you often need sponsorship from a company. This means lining up a job before you leave or working for an American company for a few years then transferring overseas.

International Careers are typically based in the United States. While working in the US, these jobs usually involve travel, allowing you to see different parts of the world. If you are looking for an internationally focused job consider looking into the Foreign Service, international education, international business, international relations, international development agencies, nonprofits with a global focus, or working for an airline, travel agency, or tourism board.


RESOURCES The following databases exist with a number of open jobs in other countries: - for jobs in South America - to search for openings in the UK - expands the search to all of the European Union and offer employment opportunities in Australia and New Zealand

Some websites that provide helpful tips for obtaining employment abroad: - helps to familiarize individuals with different countries’ various norms when it comes to résumé, CV, and cover letter writing. - broad search engine for employment abroad - with its focus on non-profit work - provides information on resumes/CV’s, work permits, employment trends and jobopportunities in the country of your choice. which allows searches in specific countries - which is one of the leading online au pair agencies. -provides quick guides, sample resumes and cover letters, information on work and living abroad for young professionals. Geared at young professionals and recent grads is a network dedicated to empowering international careers.

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There are broader search engines for work abroad such as through:



TEACH ABROAD It is important to differentiate what type of teaching abroad you would like to do. There are short-term programs (summer or less than a year) & long-term (one year or more). Furthermore, certain programs will be for teaching English as a foreign language. For such options, the programs may be self-arranged or with a teaching program or language school. The teaching might consist of private tutoring, or running entire classes. There are many paid opportunities in Asian countries, though there are options worldwide. TEFL Certificates for teaching in these programs may be required. You might also consider teaching at a K12 international school. Such programs can require credentials, but don’t always. Some websites that can be used to research teaching abroad opportunities are listed below: are large job banks for ESL/EFL jobs. and are extensive search engines listing teaching programs abroad. - is a comprehensive search engine for TEFL/ESL jobs abroad that includes everything from a blog to country specific budget worksheets - offers teaching jobs, principal and school director jobs, and opportunities to teach English overseas in 70 countries. – offers ESL teaching jobs in Russia, China and Indonesia, no prior teaching experience is required There are programs that cover the cost of your teach abroad experience but often require an extensive application process:

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships in numerous countries. The arranges teaching English in Hungary

The provides opportunities to teach English in Japan arranges teaching English in China. The French Embassy and Spanish Embassy also arrange teaching English in their respective countries. The EPIK Program arranges teaching English in Korea provides teaching and serving opportunities

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GRADUATE SCHOOL ABROAD If you plan on pursuing a career that requires a graduate or post-graduate degree, then participating in international graduate programs may be a great way to help you stand out. Choosing to complete a grad school program abroad does take a lot of thought and preparation though. It may be important to start considering options no later than the year before you complete your undergraduate degree. Make sure you understand deadlines, and what is expected of you during your participation in the program. If you are accepted into a graduate study abroad program, it is wise to research the country, including the language skills required for coursework.

RESOURCES The resources listed below offer information about various graduate programs abroad: - The American Graduate School in Paris. No language requirement. Several tracks of study offered. - 16 International Master’s Programs offered at the Barcelona Business School. - Learn out how to obtain your Master’s degree in the UK. - A comprehensive database of postgraduate Masters courses along with helpful advice. - Master’s Programs taught in English offered jointly by several universities. - A database to research and find Master’s Programs offered throughout the world. - Information on grad school in Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland and Canada.


Returnee Resources - A website for graduate opportunities worldwide. - European based search engine for master's programs. - Allows you to search for programs, scholarships and various study options in Holland.


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