If you studied abroad within the past two years, you are welcome to attend the Washington State Lessons From Abroad Returnee Conference The next coference will be scheduled soon.
• Discovering how you can work, teach, volunteer or study abroad after graduation.
• Staying connected to and sharing stories about your study abroad experience.
• Learning how to talk about your newly acquired global skills in a job interview.
• An interactive workshop on showcasing your international experience on your resume.
Check out the Lessons From Abroad website for more details and to register to attend.
Returning Study Abroad/Exchange, Student Teaching and Internship Students
We trust that you are enjoying your experience abroad and that you have been learning intensely about your host country and culture. Now that you are returning to WWU, we hope you are excited to share your experiences with others! Below is some important information regarding your return to WWU.
You are responsible for registering yourself for classes the quarter you return to WWU home campus. The same registration dates and times will apply to you. This means you might have to register yourself while you are still abroad. You can register yourself for classes online. For more information about registering online, please visit the Registrars Office.
IPE requires that you request a transcript from your study abroad program to be sent to the IPE office. Transcripts received in the IPE office will be processed and sent to the Registrar's to be posted on your WWU transcript. A copy of the transcript will be sent to your permanent mailing address. If you have not already done so, please inform your study abroad program to send a transcript to the following address:
International Programs & Exchanges
Western Washington University
516 High Street, Miller Hall 208
Bellingham, WA 98225-9094
Please remember that the official transcript from your program will take time to arrive and be processed. You will be notified when IPE receives your official transcript. If IPE does not receive a transcript, the credits with no grade may be assigned a "K" or "X" grade until a transcript arrives and is processed. After one year if no transcript has been received, credits with a "K" or "X" will convert to a "Z" or "U" (Failure/Unsatisfactory).
If you would like to request an official WWU transcript please click here.
Reapply to WWU
As long as you are enrolled through IPE while you are on your study abroad or exchange program, you will continue to maintain your student status and there is no need to reapply. If you have taken time away from WWU after your study abroad (except for summer quarter), you will need to apply to WWU as a returning student. You will need to complete the Returning Student Application Form and pay a non refundable application fee.
Please visit the Admissions Website.
Sharing Your Experiences
International Programs and Exchanges
Once you return from a study or exchange abroad, you will most likely want to share your experience with others. Opportunities to share with others through the IPE office include; participating in an International Programs and Exchanges Western ABROAD Information Session, special presentation for your particular program or site, IPE Pre-Departure Orientation, other promotional activities, and becoming an International Buddy and/or Peer Advisor in the IPE office. It is always helpful for students contemplating study abroad to speak to a fellow student who has been abroad. If you are interested in attending an information session or participating in activities listed above, and/or becoming a Peer Advisor in the IPE office, please contact Krista Mantello.
If your experience abroad sparked your interest in future travel, go abroad after you graduate as a Peace Corps volunteer. In the Peace Corps, you'll have the unique opportunity to live and work for 27 months in one of 72 countries around the world. You can use your education and international experience to launch a career in health, the environment, agriculture, education, community development, information technology, or business development. During your service, you'll receive a student loan deferment, paid vacation, three months of training, medical and dental care, a living stipend and $6075 upon completion of services - not to mention the memories that will last a lifetime. To find out more visit their website, call 1-800-424-8580, option 1, or visit WWU's Peace Corps office in Old Main 280, call 360-650-3017.
Asia University America Program (AUAP)
There are opportunities with the WWU-Asia University America Program (AUAP) which include the following:
International Peer Advisors (IPAs)
IPAs work with students from Asia University, Tokyo, Japan studying English and American culture at WWU. IPAs serve as resources, encouragers, and facilitators for AUAP students to make connections with WWU students and to have successful study abroad experiences. IPAs live in the residence halls and work approximately 19 hours a week. IPAs take a spring quarter, two-credit class in preparation for their work. For more information click here.
Campus Friends spend at least one hour a week for a quarter with an AUAP student. During the weekly get-together, individuals discuss topics of interest over coffee, at lunch or dinner, while shooting pool, or hanging out at the Underground Coffee House...whatever both parties decide they would like to do. For WWU students, this is an opportunity, not only to help an international student learn more about American culture, but to learn about Japanese culture as well.
Room with an AUAP Student
Living on-campus with an AUAP student is another excellent way to share American culture and learn more about Japanese culture. Call Housing Assignments at 360-650-2951 to sign-up.
Reverse Culture Shock
Upon your re-entry to the United States, you may experience reverse culture shock. Reverse culture shock is a normal reaction of returning to your home country. The transition from saying goodbye to your study abroad host country and life to reintegrating yourself back into the US and renewing your relationships at home can be difficult for many students. Reverse culture shock may be intensified by the feelings of disorientation in the US and the sense that you have changed but your friends and family have stayed the same. Give yourself time to adjust back into the US and be patient with yourself and others. Taking advantage of the opportunities listed above for sharing your experience abroad can help alleviate the difficulty and frustration of reintegration. More information about reverse culture shock can be found on the web including the What's Up With Culture website. Another resource is the Native Foreigner Magazine designed for returning students.