International Educator - May/June 2019 - 50

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EDUCATION ABROAD
By Stephen G. Pelletier

Reframing the
Reentry Experience

Ask a student to describe a recent study abroad
experience, and several common adjectives may
pepper the response: "It was awesome!" "Lifechanging!" "Wonderful!"
While education abroad professionals appreciate
students' enthusiasm, they also want learners to dig
deeper. How did study abroad transform how the
student thinks about the world? How might those
new perspectives influence the student's course of
study, interpersonal relationships, or career plans?
Reentry programming can help students
discover those deeper connections, supporting
students as they process their emotions and
perspectives after their time abroad and transition
back into life on their home campus.
Perhaps more importantly, reentry programming
encourages learners to reflect on their study abroad
journeys and integrate lessons they learned into
their daily experiences. While most institutions
have reentry programs that include debriefing
sessions and resources to help students adjust to
reverse culture shock, here is a quick look at a few
approaches that education abroad professionals
can take to leverage reentry programs and serve
students in different ways.

Use Constructive Coursework
Study abroad "is a really intense emotional
experience," says Tracy Rundstrom Williams,
associate director of the Center for International
50  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M AY + J U N.2019

Studies at Texas Christian University (TCU). In
both a two-credit academic course she teaches
and in less formal settings, Williams uses guided
reflections to help students unpack the meaning of
those experiences.
"If we want to showcase that students [studying
abroad] are doing more than just traveling, then we
need to help them articulate that," Williams says.
Reentry courses must push students to go
beyond merely describing their study abroad
experience to personal reflection.
"I start every class by having them discuss some
small story from their experience with a partner,"
says Williams. "Then we use that as a springboard
to talk about bigger issues, like being an outsider,
understanding cultural influences, or using
problem-solving skills."
Some students can do that on their own, but
many need guidance on bridging their time abroad
to their life at home. The structured course format
provides opportunities for students to engage more
deeply with their experiences, and with their peers
who have had similar journeys.
"This is an opportunity to not just look
backward at the past experience but forward into
future interactions and future impact," she says.
"We discuss pressing global problems and how
cultural perspectives, privilege, and inequities
exacerbate the challenges, and think about how to
be part of the solution."

CACTUS CREATIVE STUDIO

Reentry Programming Practices
that Work-for Students and for
Education Abroad Offices



International Educator - May/June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2019

From the Desk of
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Iran
Quick Questions
Feature: Africa’s Education Evolution
Feature: Mental Health: At Home and Abroad
Feature: The Faces of International Education
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment Management
International Education Leadership
Forum
Take 5
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover1
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 1
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 2
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 4
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2019 - From the Desk of
International Educator - May/June 2019 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 10
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 12
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Global Spotlight: Iran
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Quick Questions
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Feature: Africa’s Education Evolution
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 22
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 26
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Feature: Mental Health: At Home and Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 40
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Feature: The Faces of International Education
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 46
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2019 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2019 - International Enrollment Management
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2019 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 58
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 62
International Educator - May/June 2019 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Take 5
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2019 - Cover4
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