Let’s acknowledge that many study abroad offices struggle with keeping up with the volume of work. As a result, re-entry gets put on the “back burner” and for many, is an afterthought. Some schools will scramble to put together a simple gathering to recognize the study abroad experience that students had this semester – but don’t have time or resources to invest in a full re-entry initiative. Melibee Global understands – this can be a tremendous challenge because you don’t want to offer up a “half baked” re-entry plan. So, you do nothing. Then you feel guilty about it.
Here is a “temporary solution” (and for those of you who have a more fully developed re-entry program – these three videos are simply some new resources for you.) If you have time to do NOTHING else for your returning students, consider sharing these with them. Even if you just show them prior to serving the standard pizza at your re-entry gathering (or even email them with a welcome back note), it will serve a springboard for conversation and reflection. (And it may inspire you to spend some time this year developing a more fleshed out re-entry program too!)
These videos can also be shared PRIOR to the student departing their host country. Re-entry should be discussed in country! Don’t forget to acknowledge it before they return home.
Video #1: Some students who had studied in Korea took the time to share their reflections on re-entry with a group of semester students who were returning to the US. I appreciate their honesty – and the humor in the final vignette.
This can be used with ANY culture as it is more about re-entry than Korea.
Video #2: A student talks about what helped her when she returned from study abroad in Australia.
Video #3: A short animation using 2 characters chatting over tea