After You Return


You are here

Welcome Back!

The UMD Study Abroad office recognizes the complexities of returning home after your adventurous time abroad. We are dedicated to supporting alumni as they adjust back to life in the U.S. Come and visit us once you return to campus; we love hearing about your positive experiences! We are also here to talk about any concerns and challenges you may have faced abroad.

Your feedback and opinions help us continuously improve our programs and support. It provides helpful advice to future study abroad students as well. All UMD study abroad participants are emailed a survey regarding their study abroad experiences after returning. We thank you in advance for your input!

Reverse Culture Shock

In preparing to go abroad, you were more or less ready for life to be considerably different. Upon your return, however, you may have expected to slide effortlessly back into your home culture. The process of readjustment to life back home can sometimes be more difficult than the adjustment to life abroad. You may realize that home life has become unfamiliar because you are now viewing it through such different eyes.

Reverse culture shock is that unexpected confrontation with the familiar. Remember that the world at home didn’t stop while you were gone. Take time to readjust slowly. You’ll notice you may think differently about the United States. You’ll spend time reflecting on the differences between the U.S. and your former host country. Friends and family may be interested in stories or photos for a while but it may seem like they “really don’t understand.” Just remember that people may have difficulty relating to what you are saying because it hasn’t been a part of their experience. Expect to experience some degree of reverse culture shock. If you would like more information on this topic, visit the Center for Global Education.

Photo Contest

Enter the annual UMD Study Abroad Photo Contest. Submit your best photos from your travels abroad. Winners are displayed during International Education Week in November and are awarded prizes! Watch your emails and check our social media for info on the next contest.

Study Abroad Ambassador Internship

The Study Abroad Ambassador Internship allows you to share your adventures with others and promote study abroad to future students, faculty, and staff. It is a great opportunity to help you stay connected with your study abroad experience. The program is designed to help you develop both personally and professionally. Watch for an email once you return regarding this opportunity or contact us with your name, email, major, program name and term spent abroad.

Work in the UMD Study Abroad Office

UMD Study Abroad employs study abroad alumni to work as peer advisors and office assistants. Your stories and experiences abroad are invaluable for recruiting new study abroad students. Watch your email and student employment listings for job openings.

Career Services

Visit Career Services to learn how to incorporate your experience abroad in résumés and interviews. Move beyond simply listing “study abroad” on your resume and learn how to showcase skills such as leadership, adaptability, confidence, self-reliance, and intercultural aptitude in future applications and interviews.

International Community at UMD

Opportunities to engage with the international community at UMD exist through the Office of International Student Services.

  • UMD International Club is a student organization that provides all students with the opportunity to better understand and participate in different cultures. The club offers numerous activities throughout the year and allows students to hold various positions within the club.
  • The International Student Mentor program is designed to assist incoming degree-seeking international students at UMD to better adapt to a new environment and academic system. Think back to how you felt when you first arrived in the country where you studied abroad.

Go Abroad Again!

Check out other programs offered by our office. It is absolutely possible to participate in another program while attending UMD! If you've graduated, Go Overseas: Programs Abroad or volunteer opportunities such as Peace Corps, internships, and graduate schools abroad are other ways to continue to further your international education and experience.