Welcome back. We hope you had an amazing time abroad.
Reflect on your experience
Complete an online submission of courses on the transfer credit portal. You will not receive credit for courses you’ve completed on exchange unless you complete the transfer credit process. If you can not remember when or if you already completed this, you can log in to review your submissions.
Complete a student report. What was orientation like at your partner university? Did you find housing on campus? What costs were involved in your experience abroad? What skills did you learn in your co-op placement? Would you recommend your partner school to other UBC students? Give us the inside scoop on your partner university and country.
Put your name in the student directory. Make yourself available for future students going to your partner university by putting your name in the student directory.
See an academic advisor. We recommend that you look over your degree (so far) with an academic advisor after your time away. This will help confirm that you are where you should be and that you haven’t missed any important details.
Come see us at Go Global. This is very important if you didn’t send a postcard; we want to hear from you.
We know that the transition home can be difficult — trust us, we’ve been there. The readjustment process affects everyone differently, and it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the symptoms and stages of reverse culture shock.
Here are some suggestions for how to ease into the transition once you’re back home:
- Get involved on campus or in the community. Students often come back from exchange with a desire to get involved, but may not know where to begin. Keep in touch and come to a returned student workshop for helpful tips. Or check out get involved to find out where to start.
- Keep connected to your host culture. Practice the language you learned on exchange, take classes at UBC about your region, eat your favourite delicacies. We’re lucky to live in such a multicultural area of the world, so take advantage of all the international organizations, restaurants, and festivals that BC has to offer.
- Take international-focused courses or programming at UBC. Don’t let the learning stop just because you’ve returned home. UBC has plenty of courses with a regional focus as well as a multitude of language classes. International Programs and Services also offers an intercultural development program.
- Consider a future Go Global experience. Look at doing a Global Seminar.
- Turn your international experience into an asset. Contact Career advising to discover how you can make your transition into the work world a smooth one.
- Don’t be afraid to seek help. UBC has some great resources, including personal counselling at Student Wellness. Your Go Global advisor can steer you in the right direction.
Common post-exchange myths
In most cases, people who have lived abroad often find that the adjustment home is more difficult than the adjustment to their host country. We expect to meet challenges when we enter a new place and culture, but not when we return home to the place we know and love — or thought we knew and loved. Luckily, there are lots of ways to deal with the transition home.
Ideally, you will already have completed your course requests while on exchange with our online transfer credit system. If you have not done this yet, don’t worry: all the information you need is listed on that site.
Kelowna may not be Tokyo or Istanbul, but there are plenty of opportunities to maintain your international perspective on campus, academically, socially, and in the wider community. There are also tons of opportunities to go abroad again, whether for Study Abroad programs, a Group Study Program, or internships and work placements. Connect with your Go Global advisor for options.
Go Global Volunteer Opportunities
Become a Go Global Ambassador
Want to share your experience with other students? Volunteering with Go Global is a great way to share your expertise and help other students plan for their own adventure abroad. Go Global needs volunteers from September to April; commitment averages two hours/week.
Refer to the UBCO student job board to submit your application. Alternately, you can email an application (docx) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications close August 15 for the upcoming school year (September).
Looking for less commitment?
We are always looking for additional students to help out at events and to act as buddies for outgoing and incoming students. Send us an email (email@example.com) if you are interested and we will keep your name on file.