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Picture of the "Shire" from the Lord of the Rings, in New Zealand
Returned Students
Welcome back, travelers.

Returned Students

Welcome back to Ohio University! Returning from a global experience is a process filled with new feelings, questions, and adjustment. This process goes by many names - reverse culture shock and reentry are common. No matter what you call it, we are here to help.

The Office of Global Opportunities has compiled information and resources to help you through the process of returning home. 

Getting Credit

OHIO credit programs: Your academic credit comes directly from Ohio University. Make sure that you complete all assignments associated with your program-related courses. Communicate with your program director and/or professors for each course if you have any questions. 

Transfer credit programs (Exchanges, Third-Party Providers, Direct Enrolls): First, confirm with your provider or host institution that your transcript will be sent to the correct address.

Office of Global Opportunities 
15 Park Pl.
Athens, OH 45701

Receiving a digital transcript? Please have any official digital transcripts sent to

NOTE: Please be aware that your study abroad institution most likely will not send your transcript if you have any outstanding bills (library fines, housing fees, etc).

If you'd like to check on your transfer credit, you can keep tabs on it by going to your MyOhio Student Center and follow the instructions below. Remember, it can take 2-4 months for your transcript to be received.

  1. Select "Transfer Credit Report" from the drop-down window under the "Academics" section.

  2. If you do not see Study Abroad Courses listed, OHIO has not received your transcript.

  3. If you see your Study Abroad Courses, you will see: "No Rule" or "Posted"

    • "No Rule" means the transcript has been processed by Admissions and sent to your college's transfer officer.

    • "Posted" means your college/department has processed the transcript and posted the courses to your DARs

Go Again

It doesn't have to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience! You can find other ways to travel as a student. Consider either a longer or shorter program than what you did before, and other options like internships or volunteer experiences

If you went abroad, consider exploring more of the United States through one of our domestic programs. And vice versa - if you went on a domestic program, look at short or long-term options abroad!

Keep Learning!

When you return, you may have found new passions that you want to build into your academics here at Ohio University. Ask your academic advisor for help finding classes that speak to these new passions. Be sure to connect with an advisor if you plan on changing your major or adding a new set of major/minor/certificate coursework to your academic plan.

Here are some other ways to keep learning about the world:

Thinking about Grad School?

There are several post-graduate education abroad opportunities to explore, from finding an international graduate program to short-term research projects.

Talk to your professors to gauge what options may exist for pursing higher education in other countries. You can also consult the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards to find ways to fund future educational experiences abroad.

Here are some well-known options to research:

How do I tie my experience to my career?

Global programs are widely recognized among senior management as having the potential to cultivate valued skills and desirable personal qualities in new recruits. In one survey of CEOs, 60% of all respondents reported that the hiring and promotion strategy of their companies acknowledge the importance of a global experience.  

To get the most out of your experience, create a clear connection between your career goals and your study away experience. A global experience can set you apart from other job candidates. Tie your experiences to specific skillsets that relate to your intended job or career before, during, and after your program. 

  • Before: Think ahead about what types of skills and experiences you would like have gained after your program is finished.

  • During: Reflect during your experience about moments that you can use in interviews and job applications in the future, engage with locals to build intercultural skills, get involved – seek out opportunities. 

  • After: Market yourself! Create a resume and online presence that best demonstrates your strengths and skills. Visit CLDC to update your resume or participate in a event or workshop 

Talk to the Career Leadership and Development Center (CLDC) to learn more about the key skills or attributes that are needed to succeed in your intended career, and attend our career workshop to learn about applying an international experience to your resume. 

What skills will I gain?

Here are just a few skills sought by employers that you can cultivate during a global experience. Make a note next to each of these of an example of using or developing this skill while you are away, so that you can talk about specific examples in a future interview.  

  • Coping skills (the ability to deal with stressful situations) 

  • Broad and strategic thinking 

  • Communication skills (including active listening and overcoming language barriers) 

  • Global mindedness, appreciation of diversity, cultural awareness, and sensitivity to customs and cultural differences 

  • Flexibility and adaptability

  • Motivation and initiative 

  • Organization and time management skills 

  • Ability to identify, set, and achieve goals 

  • Problem-solving and crisis-management 

  • Patience and perseverance 

  • Independence, self-reliance, and responsibility 

  • Leadership skills 

Global Jobs

You can find a career that allows you to plug-in to our increasingly interconnected world. Some students find jobs that allow them to work outside of the United States or their home countries. Some options and considerations include: 

  • Intern or Volunteer. International job searching can be tough - there can be language and cultural barriers, as well as logistical questions around visas and relocating. Get to know organizations first through internships or volunteer experiences.

  • Teach abroad. Interested in teaching English or subject-based classes in another country? Consider getting a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification. Ohio University has undergraduate coursework for students interested in TEFL and a graduate TEFL program. You can also find other accredited TEFL programs across the globe. 

  • Peace Corps. The Peace Corps is a US government agency that sends US citizens all over the world to serve on various types of international development projects.

  • Work for a multi-national company. Consider companies or jobs that give you the flexibility to work while you travel, or to have a home base in a different country. 

  • International Education. Did you know you could have a job supporting study abroad and/or international students? That's what we do! Reach out to our staff to learn more about the types of jobs available in international education.

Unpack Your Experience

"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered." - Nelson Mandela

Reflecting or "unpacking" your experience is just as important as the preparation you put into the pre-departure packing process. 

Give yourself time to readjust back to your life post-program, and relearn yourself! Check out some of the most common challenges faced by students after they return from their global programs. 

You can unpack your experience by yourself, with a friend or fellow traveler, or in a group setting. Remember that you are not alone. By challenging yourself to experience new things, you've joined a community of travelers. Stay connected with the friends you've made while away and with other Ohio University travelers. 

Check out some other tools you can use in the unpacking process.

  • Keep tabs on OGO events! We host a returned student event focused on integrating your experience into your career, and are looking to build out more returnee events.

  • Review resources from Lessons From Abroad.

  • Spend some time on the What's Up With Culture? platform. It's an older website, but the resources are still spot-on! Check out "Module 2 - Welcome Back! Now What?"

Stay Involved

Keep the fire going - harness your new found passions for global good by getting involved on campus.


Share your experiences with others! Resist the temptation to "shoebox" your experience, only pulling out your memories and stories when you feel the need to "relive the glory days." 

One was to prevent shoeboxing is to share your experience in meaningful ways and add a little bit of global into your life every day. 

Here are some ideas on how to share and carry your experience forward: 

  • Blog or keep a journal about your returnee experience.

  • Volunteer to talk to prospective study away students - chat with your program director or provider to see if they need help spreading the world! 

  • Go to (or plan) international events on your campus and in the surrounding community. 

  • Make an effort to become friends with the international students on your campus. They are studying abroad in the US and you have an opportunity to have a positive impact on their time here.

  • Cook a meal from your time host city or country for family and friends.

  • Shop Smart: It’s important to be a conscientious consumer. Look at where your clothes or food are made and consider adjusting your buying habits if you don’t like what you see.

  • Write a book, screenplay, or musical piece about your experience. Create art that reminds you of your travels.

Feeling Stuck?

Sometimes adjusting back to life at home takes time. Check out some of these suggestions if you feel stuck. And remember that you have access to Ohio University Counseling & Psychological ServicesTheir office can be reached at 740-593-1616 or check out their hours & locations.

  • Get in touch with other returnees. Having someone to talk with that has had similar experiences can be extremely beneficial in the re-entry process.

  • Stay in touch with your host country. Keep up on news and events from your host country, have dinner with international students at Ohio University from the country where you studied, keep in touch with friends you made abroad.

  • Talk to staff in the Global Opportunities office. We all have spent time studying and living abroad and have lived through the readjustment process. Please feel free to come and speak with a staff member if you have questions or concerns upon return from your program.