Returning to Reed
Toward the end of your sojourn abroad, and upon your return to Portland, you can refer to these resources to encourage a thorough wrap-up of your off-campus study and a smooth transition back to Reed.
- Complete your program evaluation!
- Receive credit for your study abroad experience
- Re-adjust to the College (academics, campus, Portland, perhaps the English language...)
- Continue your international experience here at Reed.
- Make the most of your new skills gained while off-campus when pursuing Life Beyond Reed.
Reconnecting with your academic advisor
In your first days back on campus, it's a good idea to meet with your academic advisor and confirm how your study abroad impacts your 8-semester plan. Take this opportunity to revise the plan (if necessary), to share information about your study abroad experience, and to review your graduation requirements. A review of your course registration and requirements is particularly important since you may not have been able to consult with your advisor as in-depth when you registered from abroad.
Comfirming course credit transfer
The Registrar has determined, on an individual basis for each approved off-campus program, how course credits will be transferred to Reed. Visit the full list here to find your specific program guidelines for converting units and grades. Be sure to confirm the transfer process with the Registrar before/upon your return to Reed.
After spending an extended period of time off-campus, returning to Reed College/Portland/the United States can be shocking. Your experience on campus will likely be different from what you acclimated to while abroad, as well as different from how it was before you left. Adjustment to your new experience may be accompanied by conflicting emotions--joy, relaxation, warmth, and release of tension can alternate with apprehension, loneliness, a sense of loss, and frustration. If you are experiencing a similar roller coaster of emotions, are trapped in a glass case of emotion, etc. you may be wondering what is going on and whether your situation is shared by others. 'Re-entry shock' is the term for what you’re experiencing, and, while the specifics vary, you are not alone.
Upon your return to campus, you may want to reach out to the HCC for a re-entry meeting. Pepita Payne (firstname.lastname@example.org) offers friendly conversations and can also connect you with other staff members. Chatting with a counselor can help ease the re-entry process and aid your re-integration to campus life.
Remember the observation of Heraclitus: no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.
Upon your return to Reed, there are many ways to continue your international experience:
- Hang out with Language Scholars to maintain your language proficiency.
- Live in a Language House and/or participate in their community movie nights, conversation groups, and events.
- Participate in programs and events from International Student Services (or join the ISAB!).
- Shape your senior thesis to build upon your experience (and potentially incorporate a research grant to return to your place of study!).
- Consider taking a course in an interest you developed while abroad (or a language you learned), one that is more meaningful after having studied abroad (such as a location-specific history class), or a class that helps you process and/or document your experience (art or creative writing, anyone?).
- Submit a photograph for display in the International Programs Office and/or on the website: email Paul at email@example.com (includes photo, name, date, location, and program).
- Consider engaging with student media and publications: host a radio show inspired by the music of the country you come from, or contribute a reflection of your experience to the Reed College Creative Review.
- Attend visiting speaker presentations and other campus events related to your experience.
Away from Reed, you can build upon your previous time abroad:
- Teach Abroad: Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program
- Attend a Summer Abroad Program: StudyAbroad.com
- Work Abroad: tips from the UMich International Center and WorkingAbroad.com
- Volunteer Abroad: WWOOF, HelpX, Peace Corps