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Welcome Back, Study Abroad and Away Students!

Returning and Re-Adjusting

Welcome Back! Now What?
Immediate Reintegration Challenges

Consider Becoming a V.I.P.
Submitting to Passage Magazine

Moodle Page

Reintegration - Handbook Cover 15-16 RI - 13-16 Reflection Guide
Thoughts about Going Home...

Most students look forward to seeing family and friends they have missed, eating food you haven't had for so long and enjoying activities that may not have been possible during study abroad, or even study away. Remember that returning home is also a transition very similar to your arrival in your study abroad/away site. Just like your arrival, you can expect to feel frustration, anxiety and confusion at home, on your campus, and with your friends.


Craig Storti on Reintegration

"The problem is this word home. It suggests a place and a life all set up and waiting for us; all we have to do is "move-in." But home isn't a place we merely inhabit; it's a lifestyle we construct (wherever we go), a pattern of routines, habits, and behaviors associated with certain people, places, and objects-all confined to a limited area or neighborhood. We can certainly construct a home back in our own culture-just as we did abroad-but there won't be one waiting for us when we arrive … In other words, no one goes home; rather we return to our native country and in due course we create a home."

At the foundation of this transition is the task of determining what to do with the changes that have occurred while you were away and the changes that have taken place within you as a result of your time on study abroad. Life for your family, friends, and teachers probably will not be the same as when you departed, but you were not there to gradually adjust to those changes with them. And they have not been able to get used to the things that are different about you.

After Study Abroad and Study Away

Have You Changed? How?

Hardly anyone avoids the discomfort of this period of growth, but the good news is you will eventually find a way to include your new ideas, skills and outlook in your life at home, on campus and in the U.S.  Here are a few questions to consider. Your answers may help you recognize the changes that have occurred during your time away.

  • What have I learned about my host country or study away site that I did not know previously? In what ways has this changed my views?
  • By spending time away and having the opportunity to compare my home, my campus  and home culture with a different environment, what have I learned about the history, values, and traditions that make up my home community, Kalamazoo College and my home culture?
  • While I was away, what significant events have occurred in my country, my family, in my hometown, among my friends, and on campus?
  • How have my personal values changed because of my study abroad or study away experience?
  • In what ways have my preconceptions or biases changed?
  • What new skills have I developed (e.g. adaptation skills, second language proficiency, sensitivity etc) and how might I maintain them?
  • How can I express these changes to my friends, family and teachers?
  • What might I do to continue to deepen my understanding of the host country, the topics of the study away program and my experience there?

Keep a Lookout for Upcoming Reintegration Activities

Throughout the year, CIP peer advisors (PAs) host a variety of activities designed to help both study abroad AND study away students integrate back into campus after returning home. Watch for invitations sent to your K email or campus box for the Junior Reunion, Winter Welcome, and Study Abroad Reunion.

Additionally, the Center for Career and Professional Development staff is available to assist you in articulating your study abroad or away experience into terms employers will appreciate. See the article Study Abroad's New Focus Is Job Skills on this topic. You may also want to check out the CCPD's Going Global Career and Employment Resources webpage.

Passage Magazine

Passage is a K College magazine designed and published by returned study abroad students.  It circulates to students, their parents, alumni, friends of the College, prospective students and members of our campus community.

Original poetry, photography, drawings and journal entries are always welcomed for submission consideration. Interested in sharing your creative expressions for consideration? Email the editorial staff at for details.

Consider Becoming a V.I.P. for Your Study Abroad or Away Program

The CIP peer advisors (PAs) are always looking for past participants of study abroad and away programs to:

  • Meet with, or just talk to potential study abroad/away participants about the experiences you had and the insights you gained about your study abroad/away site  
  • Share photos, memories, or ICRPs at various study abroad/away related events like K-Fest or Smorgasbords 
  • Be part of a site-specific past participant panel for your program

If you are interested in becoming a V.I.P, please contact the PAs at