contents Welcome Back
Reverse Culture Shock
Reflecting on Personal Growth
Staying Internationally Engaged
Who are you now? Discovering New Skills
Marketing your Experience Abroad
Going Abroad Again
Welcome Back The KU Office of Study Abroad wants to be one of the first to welcome you back to the United States, to Lawrence, and to the KU community. We hope you achieved all of the goals you set prior to your study abroad experience and that your time abroad was one of growth and exploration. Returning home after all you have experienced abroad can bring new challenges. Readjusting back into American culture may initially be difficult. You might experience reverse culture shock, or you may find that studying abroad has sparked new interests or inspired new goals. This guide will provide tips to cope with reverse culture shock, stay internationally engaged, incorporate your study abroad experience into your cover letter, résumé, and job interviews, and travel abroad again. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Office of Study Abroad as you make the transition back into life at KU.
reverse culture shock
If you continue to feel overwhelmed by reverse culture shock, you may want to consider visiting KU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) where you will be able to speak to a counselor about your experiences abroad and your return home.
returning Home While it may seem counterintuitive to speak about culture shock when returning home, people who have lived overseas find that it takes time to readjust to life back in the United States. The process of adjustment you may experience upon returning home is called reverse culture shock. Reverse culture shock is similar to the culture shock you experienced when you arrived in your host country; however, sometimes reverse culture shock can be harder to cope with because it can be unexpected. Before you left on your study abroad experience you knew you would be encountering new and different things, from customs and languages, to styles of dress and cultural norms, so you were prepared for those challenges. Most people don’t expect difficulty coming home because you’re coming back to something familiar, but after being gone for an extended period of time and learning about other cultures, it may not feel as familiar anymore. While abroad, you may have begun to idealize the United States when things got difficult, or on the contrary, you may have discovered things that your host country does better than we do here. Once
home, it can be difficult to accept that your expectations did not always align with your idealized version of the United States, people from home have grown and changed while you were away, and you yourself have grown and changed. Studies have shown that the culture shock you experienced when you arrived abroad and the reverse culture shock you might have experienced when you returned to the United States are similar and can be graphically represented as a “W curve”. You probably felt euphoria when you arrived home and got to see the people and places you missed. However, it may take time to get back into the swing of life in the United States, and this transition can lead to negative feelings about the United States and nostalgia about your host country. After some time, you will be able to recover from the reverse culture shock, and you will become reintegrated into life here in the United States. Reintegrated does not mean you go back to the person you were before you studied abroad, but rather you are able to incorporate your new skills, passions, and learning from your time abroad into your everyday life.
W-Curve of culture shock
“The hardest part
about returning home from study abroad
is transitioning from
a life full of new experiences and diverse
Sense of Satisfaction
cultural norms back to a ‘normal’ and more regimented lifestyle.”
–Scott Friesen ‘17 Recovery
Reverse Culture Shock
Time in country
time at Home
The W-Curve above demonstrates the different phases of culture shock. The typical pattern consists of four distinct phases, honeymoon, shock, recovery, and adjustment, and repeats upon re-entry to one’s culture of origin. You may not identify with or experience each phrase in this order, but be aware that it is normal and expected for you to experience a variety of emotions when returning home.
Quick Tips for returning home
Visit a KU Career Center for advice on how to best incorporate your study abroad experience into your résumé, cover letter, and interviews.
Stay connected with your host culture by reading the daily news and keeping in touch with the friends and contacts you made there.
Look for opportunities to share your study abroad experience outside of your family and inner circle of friends. There are lots of them through the Office of Study Abroad as well as other clubs and organizations on campus!
Spend some quality time reflecting on your experience and all you have gained from it. To truly benefit from it, you need to understand how you’ve grown so you can use it to your advantage.
Think about where you want to go from here and how you can incorporate this experience into your life and career. Once you know, formulate a plan and take action.
staying internationally engaged
Anticipate challenges but have confidence that you are fully equipped to deal with them. Remember, you’ve successfully adjusted to life in a new culture once already.
reverse culture shock
common challenges for returning students
boredom After all the newness and stimulation of your time abroad, a return to family, friends, and old routines (however nice and comforting) can seem very dull. It is natural to miss the excitement and challenges you faced abroad, but it is up to you to find ways to overcome such negative reactions. Look for ways to invigorate the excitement you felt abroad by engaging in new activities.
no one wants to hear One thing you can count on upon your return: some people will not be as interested in hearing about your adventures and triumphs as you will be in sharing those experiences. This is not a rejection of you or your achievements, but simply the fact that once they have heard the highlights, they may not be interested in hearing your stories more than once. Be realistic in your expectations of how fascinating your journey is going to be for everyone else. Be brief.
you can’t explain Even when given a chance to explain all the sights you saw and feelings you had while studying abroad, it is likely to be at least a bit frustrating trying to relay them coherently. It is very difficult to convey this kind of experience to people who do not have similar frames of reference or travel backgrounds, no matter how sympathetic they are as listeners. You can tell people about your study abroad experience, but you may fail to make them understand exactly how or why you felt a particular way, and that’s okay.
Reverse “homesickness” Just as you probably missed home for a time after arriving overseas, it is just as natural to experience some reverse homesickness for the people, places, and things that you grew accustomed to as a student abroad. Feelings of loss are an integral part of international sojourns and must be anticipated and accepted as a natural result of study abroad.
Relationships have changed It is inevitable that when you return you will notice that some relationships with friends and family will have changed. Just as you have altered some of your ideas and attitudes while abroad, the people at home are likely to have experienced some changes that are very important to them. These changes may be positive or negative, but expecting that no change will have occurred is unrealistic. The best preparation is flexibility, openness, minimal preconceptions, and tempered optimism.
People see the “wrong” changes Sometimes people may concentrate on small alterations in your behavior or ideas and seem threatened or upset by them. These incidents may be motivated by jealousy, fear, or feelings of superiority or inferiority. To avoid or minimize discomfort, it is necessary to monitor yourself and be aware of the reactions of those around you, especially in the first few weeks following your return. This phase normally passes quickly if you do nothing to confirm their stereotypes.
A few people will misinterpret your words or actions in such a way that communication becomes difficult. For example, what you may have come to think of as witty humor (particularly sarcasm, banter, etc.) and a way to show affection or establish a conversation may be considered aggression or “showing off.” New clothing styles or mannerisms may be viewed as inappropriate or pretentious. Continually using references to foreign places or sprinkling foreign language expressions or words into an English conversation may be considered boasting. Be aware of how you may look to others and how your behavior is likely to be interpreted.
Perception vs. Reality Sometimes the reality of being back “home” is not as natural or enjoyable as the place you had constructed as your mental image. When actual daily life is less enjoyable or more demanding than you remembered, it is natural to feel some alienation. Many returnees become critical of faults they see in the society and/or everyone and everything for a time. This is no different than when you criticized the host culture while abroad. Being critical is a sign of culture shock. Mental comparisons are fine, but keep them to yourself until you regain both your cultural balance and a balanced perspective.
Fewer Opportunities to use new knowledge and skills Many returnees are frustrated by the lack of opportunity to apply newly gained social, linguistic, and practical coping skills that appear to be irrelevant at home. Adapting to reality as necessary, changing what is possible, being creative, being patient, and above all, using all the cross-cultural adjustment skills you acquired abroad will help you adjust to life at home.
Loss/compartmentalization of experience (“shoeboxing”) Being home, combined with the pressures of job, school, family, and friends, often conspires to make returnees worried that they might somehow “lose” the experience. Many fear that it will become compartmentalized like souvenirs or photo albums kept in a box and only occasionally taken out and looked at. You do not have to let that happen: maintain your contacts abroad, seek out and talk to people who have had experiences similar to yours, practice your cross-cultural skills, and continue language learning. Remember and honor both your hard work and the fun you had while abroad. Integrating your overseas experience into your ongoing life and activities is possible with a little effort!
If you continue to feel overwhelmed by the reverse culture shock, you may want to consider visiting KU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) where you will be able to speak to a counselor about your experiences abroad and your return home.
reflecting on personal growth
reflecting on personal growth Reflection is an important component of the re-entry process because it helps to identify the growth and changes that occurred while you were abroad and may point to a new path or goals. It can also help you to overcome reverse culture shock. Here are some questions to consider:
What new skills have you developed? What challenges did you overcome?
What surprised you? What did you learn about yourself? What was your proudest moment? What did you learn about your host country and how did this impact your view of the host country? How has your perception of the United States and the world changed? What was your everyday life like abroad? What did you like most about it? Least? Did you meet your study abroad goals? Why or why not? How can you effectively communicate about your time abroad and the changes youâ€™ve experienced to friends and family?
staying internationally engaged There are many ways to stay involved with international activities long after your time abroad has come to an end. The suggestions below are just some of the opportunities readily available on the KU campus and in your community.
volunteer on campus Here are a few of the volunteer opportunities within the Office of Study Abroad: Volunteer at the study abroad fair or the study abroad orientation. Sign up to be a returnee contact. Prospective students like having someone to talk to about what to expect abroad. This is a great place to share your study abroad story when your friends are tired of hearing you talk about it! Submit photos or an essay of your time overseas to the Jayhawks Abroad blog, the Jayhawks Abroad insert of the University Daily Kansan, or to the Office of Study Abroad for use on social media or in brochures. Become an Exchange Friend. Exchange Friends are KU study abroad returnees who are partnered with an exchange student coming to study at KU for a semester or year. Sign up for this on your Jayhawks Abroad account. For other ideas, the KU Office of International Programs has a list of organizations that actively seek volunteers interested in engaging with the international community.
Earn Global Awareness (GAP) Certification
The Office of Study Abroad hires returning students for peer advisors and office assistants. Keep your eye out for open positions in late spring, when we typically hire student workers for the upcoming year. You can also apply to be a Study Abroad Ambassador. The Study Abroad Ambassador Leadership Program is a volunteer student leadership program that prepares returned study abroad students to be active global citizens. The ambassadors serve as liaisons to the KU campus, support the outreach goals of the Office of Study Abroad, develop and implement projects that serve the needs of the community, and raise awareness of global issues. Study Abroad Ambassadors are advocates for study abroad, social and environmental justice, and cross-cultural understanding.
follow us on social media Stay informed and see what other Jayhawks are doing abroad by following the OSA online. In addition to the Jayhawks Abroad blog, the Office of Study Abroad can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, and Instagram.
FOLLOW THE JAYHAWKS ABROAD BLOG
I loved working as a peer advisor because it gave me the opportunity to share my study abroad experience to help other students achieve their goals, while allowing me to acquire professional experience applicable to future careers.
–Jackie Langdon ‘15
staying internationally engaged
The Global Awareness Program (GAP) is transcript certification for students who have demonstrated a high level of global involvement during their time as a KU student. Studying abroad completes component “C” of the requirements. Completing the remainder of the requirements is an excellent way to remain internationally engaged and meet like-minded KU students.
Work or volunteer for the Office of Study Abroad
staying internationally engaged
PRACTICE YOUR LANGUAGE SKILLS Join one of the many existing language tables here at KU to socialize with other internationally minded students and ensure you don’t lose skills you learned abroad. Try a new language! KU offers coursework in 40 foreign languages, more than any university in the Big XII conference. Tutor English to non-native speakers. The Applied English Center on campus is always looking for more volunteers to assist with their conversation groups.
get involved in a KU area studies center KU has five area studies centers that each focus on a particular geographic region. Get more information about the courses, activities, and events that they offer by looking at their websites.
Center for East Asian Studies Center for Global and International Studies Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Kansas African Studies Center
JOIN INTERNATIONAL CLUBS AND ATTEND EVENTS Seek out international clubs, events, speakers, films, festivals, and other cultural programs offered both on campus and in the community. Kansas City and other neighboring communities offer lots of cultural festivals throughout the year! These are great places to meet other students, share your experiences abroad, and maybe even learn something new. The Global Awareness Program (GAP) lists all international activities happening on campus on the GAP activities calendar as well as a list of international campus clubs. Phi Beta Delta is an International Honor Society on campus for students who have distinguished themselves in their academic programs. They hold an annual “Picture the World” photo contest to raise cultural awareness. The contest is open to the entire campus community. Jayhawks Without Borders is a campus club for undergraduate majors and minors with an interest in international area studies.
who are you now? discovering new skills Students generally find it takes a while after returning from study abroad to realize the full applicability of their experience to career planning. An international experience can create new interests, skills, and abilities of great potential for future employment. With all you’ve experienced and learned, it wouldn’t be surprising to find your goals have shifted, expanded, or completely changed from what they were prior to your experience abroad. You may come home looking to work in areas that touch upon issues you became interested in while abroad and maybe you have found you even want to change your major after your experience. Take some time to think seriously about what you want and where you see yourself in the future.
While you shouldn’t feel too much pressure to plan your entire life at this time, you can make plans for the coming year. Do you need to study and prepare to take entry exams for graduate school? Are there scholarships or fellowships, like a Fulbright program that fit your interests? When are the deadlines? If you are interested in an internship or a fulltime job, when do you need to start the application process? Planning ahead now will help ensure future success. For example, if you’re thinking about going to graduate school, your first two steps could be to talk to your academic advisor and to visit the career center. They can help you identify programs that match your interests and help you set a timeline to apply.
How does your international experience make you unique or stand out from others? Determine your strengths, values, passions, attributes, & skills. Develop your narrative around your study abroad experience and emphasize behavioral skills attained while abroad. Discuss skill development with a career counselor Identify professional fields that draw upon your areas of interest.
discovering new skills
marketing your experience abroad
Marketing your experience abroad Now that you have returned from studying abroad, it’s time to put your international experience to work and use it to your advantage as you apply for internships and fulltime jobs. The key to doing so is highlighting your experience, and more importantly, articulating through your résumé, cover letter, and interviews the invaluable skills and competencies that you gained abroad and their value to prospective employers.
SKILLS GAINED ABROAD You’ll probably agree that studying abroad was of immeasurable value but simply stating that it was a life-changing experience is not enough. Unless employers have studied abroad themselves, they may not fully understand the personal growth it brings, which is why it is important to take some time to reflect on how you have grown and identify specific examples which illustrate this. Below is a list of qualities and abilities that students commonly attribute to studying abroad; however, it is not exhaustive and you should feel free to create your own or add to it.
Enhanced cultural awareness and sensitivity Language proficiency Independence and confidence Adaptability and tolerance for ambiguity Problem-solving and critical thinking skills Improved communication and interpersonal skills Open-mindedness Appreciation of diversity Ability to work well in different cultures and with people from different backgrounds Perseverance Ability to cope with stress Travel skills Time management skills A trend you may have noticed is that these are all transferrable skills and attributes, meaning that they are not specific to one particular field and will be of benefit regardless of your chosen career path. Additionally, many of them are gained through real-world experience as opposed to in the classroom, so highlighting them is a great way to differentiate yourself from other candidates who may have similar degrees.
rÉsumÉs The purpose of a résumé is to provide a summary of your experiences and accomplishments and entice employers to offer you an initial interview. Employers often only spend 15-20 seconds reviewing résumés, which is why it is important to make sure your international experience and the skills you gained through it stand out. Experience abroad can often be incorporated into the Education and/or Experience section depending on its relevance to the position to which you are applying. For example, if applying to a position that requires foreign language skills or working with diverse populations, it makes sense to include it in both sections. For a position where your international experience may be less relevant, listing it in the education section but not in the experience section is adequate.
TIP: When creating bullet points, it may be helpful to first write a summary of your experience abroad in paragraph form. Next, circle all of the action verbs, then create bullet points beginning with each verb, and finally add on the responsibilities and results. Be sure to highlight transferrable skills that relate to the work you will be doing in your future
EDUCATION The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas Bachelor of Science, Strategic communication
profession and not just
GPA 3.65 Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica
EXPERIENCE Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica Study Abroad Semester Exchange
• Improved Spanish language written and oral communication • Adapted to cultural customs through daily interaction with host family • Gained in-depth knowledge of Costa Rica’s history, geography, politics, and culture
American Chamber of Commerce, London, England Events Intern
June – July 2013
• Served as primary liaison between the Chamber and speakers’/sponsors’ offices for all events • Coordinated invitations and managed event database; provided timings, room layouts, and seating charts, and produced guest lists, name badges, and place cards
Career ADvancement Program The Career Advancement Program (CAP) is a program through the University Career Center based on seven dimensions of employability: Academic Learning, Experiential Learning, Career Maturity, Professional Skills, Career Management, Meaningful Connections, and Global Perspective. Visit career.ku.edu/cap for more information.
reflecting on personal growth
cover letters Your cover letter should work in tandem with your résumé as opposed to simply repeating information. It is your opportunity to state explicitly why you are interested in working for that particular company in that specific role and to provide an overview of how your experience relates and makes you the best candidate for the position. Below are two excerpts which tie in international experience.
Last summer, I competed an eight-week internship in special events at the American Chamber of Commerce (UK) in London. As one of the world’s leading transatlantic business organizations, the Chamber’s mission is to promote international business links between the United Kingdom and the United States. As an event coordinator, I planned weekly breakfast forums featuring speakers on a variety of business topics. I also coordinated Member Luncheons and formal events such as the Retirement Reception for the Chamber’s Director General, and the annual Black Tie Award Dinner. Attention to detail as well as strong organizational and communication skills were essential to the success of these events.
I am currently a senior in the School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. As a Strategic Communications major, I have gained a broad understanding of advertising, public relations, corporate communications and marketing and their roles in supporting businesses. My experience studying at the University of Costa Rica peaked my interest in integrated marketing communications and has provided me with a cross-cultural perspective of marketing. My subject knowledge plus my ability to adapt to changing environments will make for a smooth transition from the classroom to the business environment.
interviewing Behavior-based questions are one of the most commonly used interview techniques. This interview style is based on the premise that past actions are the best predictor of future behavior, which is why the interviewer asks you to describe situations where you demonstrated particular behaviors, qualities, and skills. Be sure to spend time practicing your examples ahead of time so you do not stumble through them during the interview. Some examples of behavior-based questions include: 1.
Tell me about a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that required coping skills.
Tell me about a time when you took on a leadership role.
Describe a time when you had to resolve a conflict based on misunderstandings or cultural differences.
Tell me about a time in which you had to set an important goal and about your success in reaching it.
Describe an instance when you had to think on your feet to resolve a difficult situation.
Give a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventative measures.
Describe a time when you had to function in a new environment that was different from one you had functioned in previously. How did you adapt?
Tell me about a team project in which you are particularly proud of your contribution.
The interviewer may also ask about your study abroad experience. Some examples might include: 1.
Why did you choose to study abroad in [name of country]?
What did you learn from the experience that would help you in this position?
What was the most challenging aspect about studying abroad?
the Star method The STAR method, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result, is an excellent way to ensure you tell the story in a succinct manner and cover all of the relevant topics when asked behavioral questions.
Situation Describe a specific event or situation that you have encountered. The situation can be from a previous job, from a volunteer experience, or any relevant event.
Task What goal were you working toward?
Action Describe the actions you took to address the situation with an appropriate amount of detail and keep the focus on YOU. What specific steps did you take and what was your particular contribution?
Result Describe the outcome of your actions and don’t be shy about taking credit for your behavior. What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn? Make sure your answer contains multiple positive results.
KU Career services alliance The University Career Center as well as Business, Engineering, Journalism, and Music Career Services form the KU Career Services Alliance. They offer assistance for a variety of career-related topics including: Major and career exploration Resume, CV, and cover letter writing Interviewing Job and internship searches, including information about international job searches They are an excellent resource. Make sure to visit them for advice and expertise on how to best incorporate your experience abroad into your career search.
–Emily Farnan ‘15
staying internationally engaged
Studying abroad makes a more well-rounded job candidate. It allowed me to develop many skills, including communication, which you can apply in a professional setting to advance your career.
Going abroad again
Going abroad again There are many opportunities to go abroad again. The programs and ideas listed below do not represent a complete list of the available options, but is intended to provide you with ideas to help you find the best option for you. Even on a tight budget, there are work, volunteer, internship, and teaching English abroad opportunities readily available. Before starting the search, you’ll want to assess your own level of independence, language skills, flexibility, past experience, and skills. Some questions to consider include: Where do you want to go? When do you want to go abroad? How long would you like to stay abroad? What do you hope to gain from the experience? Would you like to earn credit or use financial aid? Can you support yourself financially or will you need to be paid? Would you like to utilize any language skills? If so, are you proficient enough to work in that language?
Fact: many KU students who study abroad go abroad more than once!
How will the experience relate to longer-term academic or professional goals? Does what you want to do abroad require you to already have a degree (or graduate degree)? What type of experience are you most prepared for?
Intern Abroad – or Study abroad again – through KU Keep in mind that it’s possible to go abroad again as a KU student by participating in another study or internship abroad program. KU administers more than 160 programs in 70 countries. There are plenty of opportunities to choose from! If, after studying abroad, you are ready to do something different, a unique opportunity to consider is an international internship program through the Office of Study Abroad. These 8-week summer programs are available in a variety of locations including Dublin, Ireland; London, England; Madrid, Spain; Shanghai, China; Prague, Czech Republic; and Sydney, Australia. They offer the fantastic opportunity to gain international work experience, test-drive a career path, and strengthen your résumé while exploring another culture. These programs function similarly to other KU study abroad programs in that you will earn academic credit for your internship and there is a program fee to participate, which covers your customized internship placement, housing, and other program inclusions.
My world abroad Get ready to go abroad with My World Abroad. This is a resource for KU students that will give you access to 4,000 searchable resources, 300 expert articles, and student stories. The resources will prepare you to go abroad again-from tips on learning a language and getting experience to job boards and country guides.
Work or Intern ABroad after Graduation Although not administered by the Office of Study Abroad, there are a variety of ways to go abroad again after you have graduated. Shortterm work abroad (less than one year) usually involves working in a job where you can earn enough income to cover your food, lodging, and daily living expenses. This type of job probably will not pay enough to cover air transportation, but it may help provide some extra money for travel after your job is over. Short-term work experiences include positions such as au pairs, farm workers, hotels services, clerical assistants, waitpersons, youth camp leaders, or other temporary services. Keep in mind that working abroad legally means you will need to obtain a work permit or visa for your host country. There are organizations which can assist you in finding jobs and obtaining the necessary legal paperwork. Alliance Abroad offers work, teach & volunteer opportunities American–Scandinavian offers intern/work, teach and study programs British Universities North American Club offers work/intern assistance CEI–Club des 4 Vents offers work/internship options in France Interexchange offers work & teach programs USIT Ireland offers work, teach & volunteer assistance If you plan to participate in an internship after graduation but don’t know where to start, you can get help with your placement through a program provider, which arranges the internship for you. Most internships are unpaid, although more technical internships may be compensated. Whether your internship is paid or not, you will gain invaluable experience in your field and learn about another culture from a unique perspective. AIESEC provides internship assistance AIPT/IAESTE offers intern opportunities CIS Abroad offers internships CulturalVistas/CDS International offers intern, study & fellowship programs French Cultural Services offers intern & teach placements International Cooperative Education offers summer internships Michigan State University International Internship Directory
volunteer abroad Restoration projects, literacy campaigns, and teaching are just a few examples of the many volunteer programs abroad. Some programs charge a fee and provide services such as insurance coverage, meals, and even housing. Some provide free room and board in exchange for work. Volunteer work opportunities range from a few weeks long to two or three years in duration. If you’re interested in development work, want to meet new people, and don’t mind rudimentary living conditions, you may want to consider volunteering. CIEE Teach Abroad Cross Cultural Solutions GoAbroad’s Volunteer Abroad directory Idealist volunteer, work, intern directory ISA has Experiential Learning Abroad Programs Transitions Abroad provides resources for teaching, living, studying, working, and volunteering World Endeavors offers internship & volunteer opportunities
Studying abroad multiple times is great because you get to see your own personal growth and development along the way. Every time you go abroad, you gain more confidence. Plus it’s fun! –Ashlie Koehn ‘16
going abroad again
Peace Corps The Peace Corps is a federal service program that currently sends US volunteers to serve abroad in over 75 countries to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps Volunteers work at the grassroots level toward sustainable change that lives on long after their service, while at the same time becoming global citizens and serving their country. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences— and a global outlook—that enriches the lives of those around them. We even have a KU Peace Corps campus representative you can contact for assistance and information.
Going abroad again
Teaching English abroad taught me to be adaptable, resourceful, creative, and helped me to understand how to motivate students to achieve their goals. –Alexis Jones
TEaching English ABroad There are many opportunities to teach English abroad through established programs. Most programs prefer a commitment of one academic year, though some offer summer or semester possibilities. In general, a bachelor’s degree is required, although in most cases you do not need to be an English major. Organizations are more interested in your ability to speak native and fluent English and you do not always need teaching certification for the positions. Volunteer and paid teaching opportunities can be found throughout the world but salaries range widely. There are 3 main approaches to finding positions: government-sponsored programs, teaching placement programs, and independently arranged positions.
Central European Teaching Program Czech Ministry of Education teaching positions Dave’s ESL Cafe lists ESL opportunities English Program in Korea (EPIK) French Teaching Assistant Program Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) Japan Exchange Teacher Program (JET) Language and Cultural Assistants in Spain LanguageCorps Princeton-in-Asia U.S. Teaching Assistantships at Austrian Secondary Schools U.S. State Department English Language Fellows WorldTeach
Graduate School Abroad While studying abroad is most frequently associated with undergraduate students, it has become a growing trend among graduate students, and students often use the opportunity to return to a previous host country or explore a different one. You should start planning your international experience early on in your graduate degree program in order to make sure the work you do overseas relates directly to your degree requirements. There is no cookie-cutter approach to graduate learning abroad and you are encouraged to talk with your academic advisors, peers, professors, and the graduate program you are considering to determine the right opportunity for you.
Through a US Institution There are many US institutions that either offer partial or full studies on a foreign or satellite campus as part of their graduate degree program. This may be a good place to start if you know you want to add in a substantial foreign experience to your graduate degree, but you’re not sure if you want to apply directly to a foreign institution’s program. American University’s School of International Service Middlebury College Graduate Language School/ Monterrey Institute of International Studies Peace Corps Master’s International program SIT Graduate Institute
Through a Foreign institution Whether it is to improve your language skills, work with a specific professor, pay lower tuition fees, finish in a shorter period of time, or just get abroad again, there are many reasons for pursuing a degree outside of the U.S. Enrolling in a graduate program through an institution abroad allows you to learn alongside students from all over the world, get a different cultural perspective on your field of study, immerse yourself in a foreign culture, and become a citizen of the world. Some questions to consider when deciding whether or not to enroll in a foreign institution: Do you need financial aid? US federal aid may not be available for all programs overseas. Are there required entrance exams? You can find resources to investigate your options here: DiversityAbroad Steps for Seeking Degrees Overseas Find Masters Degrees Abroad German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) index of graduate programs offered in English in Germany
GoOverseas Pros & Cons of Earning Graduate Degrees Abroad Idealist Tips for International Graduate School Planning ISA Masters Degree programs
There are also fellowships and scholarships that will help fund your graduate education in a variety of fields, both in the US and abroad. Some of these awards require you apply through KU for nomination while still an undergraduate and others you can apply for on your own. Scholarships through the KU Office of Fellowships & Scholarships include the Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell, and Churchill. Scholarships through the KU Office of International Programs include the Fulbright, Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Research Abroad, China Direct Exchange, and Graduate Direct Exchange. Gates Cambridge Scholarship Rangel International Affairs Program Graduate Fellowship Pickering Graduate Affairs and Foreign Affairs Fellowships
Getting a masters abroad provides alternative worldviews, challenges previously held assumptions, and looks great on a resume. One of the best aspects of getting a masters abroad is that it's significantly cheaper and takes half the time. My masters program (and most masters programs across Europe and the rest of the world) lasts a little less than a year. –Garrett Wolfe ‘15
going abroad again
GoAbroad’s searchable listing of possible options
GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP AND SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Closing remarks As you can see, your study abroad experience doesn’t have to end just because you are back in the US. Keep working towards easing your adjustment back to American life, and once you’ve done that, be sure to keep in mind all of the opportunities there are to maintain your international connection both as a KU student and after graduation. Don’t forget that the Office of Study Abroad is here to help you in any way possible. Welcome back and may your adventures abroad inspire you to continue to open yourself to new experiences.
Lippincott Hall 1410 Jayhawk Boulevard 785-864-3911 firstname.lastname@example.org studyabroad.ku.edu jayhawksabroad.dept.ku.edu Follow us @KUStudyAbroad
The Jayhawk Guide to Returning Home