Returning Students: Cultural Re-entry

"It's a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what's changed is you." -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Welcome home! Below are some helpful resources to assist you following your study abroad experience.

"Culture shock is the expected confrontation with the unfamiliar. Re-entry shock is the unexpected confrontation with the familiar." – R. Michael Paige (from Maximizing Study Abroad)

Having now returned from study abroad you might find yourself experiencing re-entry shock. Below are some helpful resources to ease the transition back to being home.

  • ROCtober: Reflecting on Your Experience Abroad  is a facilitated dialogue session meant to prompt an intentional analysis and reflection of your study abroad experience. The link will bring you to a recording of the Rocktober workshop, where study abroad returnees discussed their experiences. Check it out for some inspiration!
  • SUNY Geneseo Re-entry Webinar discusses strategies for re-entry and making the most of your study abroad experience.
  • ROC Your Global Future's website offers a wide range of useful resources for students returning from study abroad.
  • offers an in-depth look at what reverse culture shock is, how it affects people, and tips on how to deal with it. 
  • addresses how reverse culture shock affects relationships and how students returning from abroad tend to feel ‘rootless’.  The page also contains insight into how a person may feel coming home, both on good days and bad days.
  •  EF Tours offers a list of six easy ways to stay connected to your international friends after returning home.
  • What's Up With Culture? This site offers in-depth training and lessons on adjusting to different cultures, both when leaving home and when returning.  It has great lessons on preparing to return home, dealing with being back, examining what a student learned during their time abroad, and how to reintegrate back into life and school.
  • Reverse Culture Shock This site details the specifics of reverse culture shock. Included on the page is a helpful graph that sets “sense of satisfaction” against “time” and depicts how a person experiences culture shock and reverse culture shock in a ‘W’ shaped curve on the graph. 
  • offers a working definition of reverse culture shock, as well as the stages experienced during cultural reentry.  Also offers relevant questions, checklists, and other recourses relating to the topic. 

Below are some ways in which you can keep your study abroad experience alive on-campus, in the community, and at home.

Keeping Your Experience Alive


  • Apply to be a study abroad intern in the Study Abroad Office and share your experience with prospective students.
  • Share your experience with other students by assisting with the Study Abroad Fair, information sessions, or becoming a global ambassador for the Study Abroad Office.
  • Attend the GOLD workshops on global engagement to earn the Amethyst Global Engagement Certificate.
  • Join a club related to your experience abroad! Learn about all the student organizations here:
  • Continue to study any language you may have been taking while abroad. Review the department of Languages and Literatures website for a complete listing of languages offered at Geneseo:
  • Participate in Geneseo's International Education Week.
  • Write a blog post on your study abroad experience for the Study Abroad Office's blog. Also, read up on articles on the blog about re-entry.

In the Community

  • Volunteer or intern with an organization with an international focus such as working with migrant workers or refugees.
  • Attend local cultural festivals.
  • Eat out at international restaurants or try your hand at making some of the cuisine at home!

At Home

  • Practice any language you may have learned by using Rosetta Stone, Duolingo, or watching movies and tv shows in that language.
  • Listen to music or watch films/tv shows from the country you studied in.
  • Follow the local news in the country you studied in.
  • Stay in touch with your host family, friends, faculty and staff you met while abroad.
  • Document your study abroad experience. There are many ways to do this: journal, blog, scrapbook.

Going Abroad Again

The SUNY Geneseo Study Abroad Office is providing the following links and resources for information purposes only, but is not directly affiliated with the organizations listed.

Post-graduate Study, Fellowships, & Scholarships Abroad

For more information on international fellowships and scholarships, visit the Fellowships and Scholarships page. Please contact Dr. Michael Mills, Director of National Scholarships & Fellowships (, for further details.

  • helps to narrow down opportunities for graduate school abroad by allowing the student to choose a country and degree, then showing which schools fit the student’s interests.
  • Humanity in Action offers a fellowship for current and recent graduates of the US.  During the time abroad students examine prejudice and discrimination in Europe.
  • The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers fellowships for U.S. graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists to study and/or conduct research abroad.
  • The Mountbatten Institute provides professional training placement, accommodation, training allowance, and additional support to participants who undertake a full-time, 12-month practical training placement, while studying towards an MBA degree, an MA or Postgraduate Certificate in London.
  • The Boren Scholarship provides funding to both undergraduate and graduate students looking to study less widely taught languages in the languages’ native countries.
  • The George Mitchell Scholarship is designed to interest the next generation of American leaders in the island of Ireland. The Scholarship funds a year of study at one of nine participating institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. 
  • The Marshall Scholarship helps assist American students pursue graduate studies in the United Kingdom.
  • Critical Language Scholarship (CLS): The United States Department of State sponsors the CLS Program for overseas intensive summer language institutes in thirteen critical need foreign languages. CLS institutes provide fully-funded group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences for seven to ten weeks for U.S. citizen undergraduate and graduate students.
  • The Rhodes Scholarship offers financial assistance to American students looking to study at the University of Oxford.
  • The Gates Cambridge Scholarship enables outstanding graduate students from outside the United Kingdom to study at the University of Cambridge.

Teach Abroad

  • Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Progam:  ETA’s help teach English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. 
  • English Program in Korea (EPIK) is affiliated with the Korean Ministry of Education. Participants share their knowledge and language with Korean students and teachers within the Korean public school system.
  • Cultural Ambassador Spain: Coordinated by the Spanish Ministry of Education, this program gives junior and senior college students as well as college graduates the opportunity to learn about Spanish language and culture while sharing your own language and culture. Assistants will support classroom teachers in the K-12 system and Foreign Language Schools throughout Spain. The program begins in October and ends in May and assistants will have a 12-16 hour weekly schedule.
  • The Teaching Assistant Program in France offers you the opportunity to work in France for 7 months, teaching English to French students of all ages. Assistants teach 12 hours a week and can be placed in all regions of metropolitan France and the overseas departments of French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Réunion.
  • The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program offers individuals a chance to work in schools, government offices, and on boards of education across Japan.  These programs offer different programs based on the applicant’s skills and abilities.

Work Abroad

  • GoinGlobal helps job and internship seekers find opportunities both at home and abroad. Geneseo students have special membership access to the resources and job listings found on this website.
  • Interexchange offers opportunities for students to teach, au pair, and work in foreign countries. 
  • allows you to search for interesting jobs all over the world.
  • offers teaching and working abroad opportunities as well as internships around the world.

Volunteer Abroad

  • Peace Corps: A great program for those looking to do more extended volunteer work outside the US.
  • Jesuit Volunteer Corps: This program engages volunteers in vital service within poor communities. Volunteers are placed in over 250 different agencies within 37 cities in the US, and six countries
  • Mercy Volunteer Corps: Volunteers serve in Georgetown, the capital of Guyana. A year commitment is required with the opportunity to renew for a second year.
  • Omprakash: This is a searchable database of non-profit and NGO's around the world.  You can find an organization that resonates with you and then follow up with the organization.

Intern Abroad

  • BUNAC offers volunteer, intern, and work experiences abroad. Experiences range from interning in the UK to work/travel program opportunities in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
  • offers advice and opportunities for studying, interning, volunteering, and teaching abroad, as well as intensive language courses and full degrees abroad.  The site also discusses the benefits of working and living abroad.

Communicating Your Experience Abroad