photo courtesy of Amanda Emran
The Office of Global Experiences hosted its annual re-entry dinner for students coming home from study abroad trips Tuesday, March 10. The conversation emphasized the adjustment of being back home and settling into reality.
The students from the most recent trip traveled to Spain, and others included Jamaica, Ireland and Chile. Each experience was unique and could cause culture shock – including upon re-entry coming back home to the U.S.
The students were welcomed by the director of the Office of Global Experiences John McGuigan. He presented on the emotions students experience heading out of the country, but also how they feel when they experience “re-entry shock.”
“Everyone changes a little bit when you come home, and you might experience that reverse culture shock and frustration. With time, you get to re-adapt and integrate your new feelings and new experiences with your old experiences and feelings,” said McGuigan.
The students were invited to introduce themselves and share their experiences during their dinner. They all shared what surprised them the most, their favorite memories, their challenges, and what they were able to take away from studying in a foreign country.
“The language was by far the biggest component that changed my outlook long term. I actually added a Spanish minor right before I left,” said senior Rory Calabria.
The event continued with more conversations and dinner, finally followed by the Director of Career & Leadership Development, Ron Buchholz. Buchholz’s presentation was titled “Study Abroad and Your Career.” He helped students understand how to apply these memories and experiences to a resume and an interview with potential employers.
“Your role is essentially connecting the dots. The sentence ‘What did I learn as a result of,’ is really a good sentence. Ultimately your resume talks about stuff you’ve done in the past. The job announcement says I need you to do these things in the future. You can’t assume that the reader of your resume is going to connect the dots,” says Buchholz.
Being able to take advantage of UW-Whitewater’s study abroad programs was a huge takeaway in this event. Having the opportunity to travel and study out of the country is an experience of a lifetime, but it is also a resume builder and a lead-in to your interview.
For more information on travel dates and application deadlines visit the Office of Global Experiences’s website, https://www.uww.edu/international/globalexperiences.