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Upon Return

Welcome back! Now that you have had a successful adventure abroad, you may be wondering how you can get involved on campus, share your experience or you might have specific questions about any number of topics. The Education Abroad staff is here to help! Set up an appointment to debrief on your experience, talk to us about what you’re inspired to do next or get assistance with any issues you may have on your mind related to your international experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Lots of students ask about opportunities to work or intern abroad. See a variety of options and resources on our International Opportunities page.

Whether you are returning after a summer, semester or year abroad, you are undoubtedly experiencing some differences in yourself, your family and friends, your surroundings, and at the University of Idaho. Life at home has moved on while you were away and you have moved on (perhaps at a faster pace than life here). All of this moving on can result in feeling a little disjointed or out of place at home. This is probably a new feeling for you, but rest assured it is normal, and it is called "reverse culture shock." Some students feel that reverse culture shock is harder for them to deal with than the culture shock they experienced when they first went abroad, while others may not feel the effects of reverse culture shock at all, or perhaps they just don't recognize the symptoms.

Readjusting to your surroundings may be more stressful than you realized. Here are some tips to make that transition easier:

  • Remember the transition to your host culture. You may encounter similar experiences returning to the U.S. The stages of re-entry include: initial euphoria, irritability or hostility, gradual adjustment and adaptation.
  • Remember that most students experience some stress readjusting to U.S. culture. Often, the more a student immersed themselves in the host culture, the more difficult they may find re-entry. Find someone who can update you on the university, local and national changes that might have taken place while you were away.
  • You may recognize that many of your values and beliefs have changed. Learn to incorporate new and meaningful values and beliefs into your lifestyle and take note on these shifts: they are important markers on how your international experience has changed you and you should feel proud.
  • Understand that your friendships and relationships might change as a function of your new experiences. Explore new places and people with whom you can share your international experiences.
  • Recognize that you may need some time to adjust to the hectic pace and pressures of university life. Learn to gradually increase the pace of your academic studies and extracurricular activities. You may notice that the old ways of managing your time and stress are no longer appropriate. Seek counsel from academic advisors, other study abroad alumni and other supportive faculty and staff.
  • Accept the reality that re-entry is a time of transition! Learn ways to take care of yourself and ease into your surroundings.
  • Utilize the resources available to you at U of I with your new goals and interests in mind. Seek advice from Career Services, Education Abroad staff and academic advisors regarding potential opportunities to engage in another international experience or other opportunities on campus.

Become an Education Abroad Ambassador or Intern

Paid, for-credit and volunteer positions are available each year. Ambassadors are trained to peer-advise, promote education abroad opportunities at campus events and in classroom presentations, and work on social media and other projects to get the word out about education abroad. Apply online

Participate in Returnee Events

Each semester, Education Abroad holds an event just for students who have recently been abroad. The event usually includes dinner and an opportunity to share your experience and hear about other students’ international experiences. A common focus of our returnee event is to help students think about how they can professionalize their experience abroad for job interviews and resumes, and learn about what else they can do internationally.

The annual Education Abroad Photo Contest is held during the Spring semester. The online contest offers returnees the chance to share their experience with the U of I community through their photography and short descriptions of the amazing moments they captured while abroad.

Become an International Student Volunteer or Conversation Partner

Students who have just returned from abroad have the wonderful opportunity to assist and get to know an incoming international student. This is an excellent way to stay connected to the international world and to reach out to a new student who is trying to adjust not only to a new campus but to a new culture. Find out more details by emailing

Make sure you have submitted all coursework, taken all exams and paid all outstanding balances before the transcript will be released. Also, be sure to communicate with the appropriate staff to verify you have completed any needed paperwork for the transcript to be sent back to U of I Education Abroad office.

Understand that some institutions, particularly those in the southern hemisphere, follow academic calendars that make immediate issuance of transcripts difficult. U of I Education Abroad does its best to follow-up on any transcripts that are unusually late in arrival. Follow up with us on the status of your transcript and if it hasn’t yet been received and is outside the normal time frame and reach out your contacts abroad to inquire further.

The host institution or program provider should send your transcript or grade sheet directly to U of I Education Abroad in the International Programs Office. Once Education Abroad receives the transcript, staff save a digital copy of it in your online U of I Education Abroad application and send the original to the U of I Office of the Registrar so that the credits can be recorded on your U of I transcript.

Financial Aid Suspension

Federal law requires U of I to verify that financial aid recipients were enrolled full-time and received passing grades while overseas. You may receive a financial aid suspension letter and email due to a missing transcript if U of I does not receive a transcript from the institution you attended by June 1 showing you were a full-time student and passed your courses. While some institutions will be able to submit transcripts by the required deadlines, many institutions - particularly in the southern hemisphere - follow academic calendars that make this difficult. Students particularly affected are those who will be abroad during the spring semester, as there is little turn-around time between the end of their program and the June 1 deadline. Before you leave your study abroad site, you should make certain all your fees are paid, all your coursework is submitted, and you have taken all your exams, as this will speed up the issuance of your transcript. If you do receive a financial aid suspension letter, please contact us. We work with the Student Financial Aid Services and the academic colleges to request that student aid is reinstated until your international transcript has arrived.

Special Note for Graduating Seniors

Students planning on graduating right after finishing their education abroad program should arrange and pay to have their host program coordinators send transcripts of their completed coursework by express mail This should speed up the transfer of credits for graduation.

Phone: 208-885-7870

Fax: 208-885-2859