Many of the feelings you may experience stem from the change you have undergone and the ambiguity about how the new changed you fits into your old life. First of all, it is important to remember that change is a positive thing. You have new ideas and insights giving you a better sense of yourself. The trick is to figure out how to incorporate your new perspectives into your life and at the OSU campus. There are several things you can do to feel comfortable once again in the U.S. while still retaining new knowledge and perspectives.
- Don't consider study abroad a stand-alone experience; instead, look at it as the start of a lifetime of international experiences.
- Find ways to continue pursuing newfound interests. Make the most of the resources that exist for you on your home campus and in your local community.
HERE ARE A FEW IDEAS:
- Take a language class to maintain your language proficiency or ask other faculty with foreign language skills if you can conduct your research and write your papers in a foreign language.
- Find out about being a tutor for students who need help in elementary or intermediate language courses.
- Attend international lecture series programs and other presentations on international affairs.
- Volunteer to lead conversation groups through your campus English Language Institute for members of the campus and community who speak English as a second language.
- Host an international dinner party.
- Submit your photos for the International Programs Photo Contest on your campus or nationally (see details presented later in this guide).
- Submit original writing you did while abroad to be published in your campus or community newspapers or to national magazines.
- Help the International Programs Office recruit and prepare new study abroad students by helping with the Study Abroad Fair or pre-departure orientation, or be a mentor to students about to depart.
- Join a student group with an international focus (e.g., International Students of OSU, French Club etc). See this website for a list of student organizations.
- Go to your campus or community library and read newspapers in the language of your host country. Many papers are available online as well.
- Check community listings for international groups around your community (e.g., Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center).
- Get involved in your community! There are many multicultural groups that would appreciate your services. Visit the Center for Civic Engagement website for opportunities.
- Check out foreign films from your campus or community library or see the ones showing on your campus. You can also look for foreign films at the Darkside Cinema.
- Engage in conversation and dialogue with others about your experience. Correspond with friends and family from your host country.
- Stop by and talk with your study abroad advisors about your experience. We love to hear about your experiences and see your photos.