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Study Abroad Returnees

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Welcome Home Study Abroad Alumni!                  
You are probably returning home energized with new perspectives and you may even be a little confused and overwhelmed.  Now that you are back, we hope to see you continue your journey and transfer the skills you’ve gained abroad towards becoming effective global citizens!

We also understand that transitioning back into the U.S. can come with many challenges.  We hope this website will provide you with some valuable resources as you are slowly easing back into life here at MTSU.  Please feel free to stop by PH 207 with any questions or concerns.

In this section:
Graduation Sashes
MTSU Global Ambassador program
International Friendship program
Reverse Culture Shock
building and staying connected

Now that you have returned from your study abroad experience, filled with new insights and a better understanding of the world, we would like you to take a few minutes and give us some feedback about your program. Click here to complete an Education Abroad Evaluation! Please return to PH 207 or scan and email to

Graduation Sashes
The Office of Education Abroad believes you should proudly display your education abroad experience whenever possible. One of the best opportunities to do so is at graduation with international sashes. All MTSU EA alumni can have their own sash representing the country in which they studied abroad to adorn their graduation regalia. You can order a sash with 1-4 country flags. The sashes range in prices from $30.95 - $60.95 + tax & shipping. Click the link below to search for your country's flag.
Order your graduation sash here!

Reverse Culture Shock
As a student becomes integrated to the ways of the country of your choice's culture, the more difficult it may be to re-adapt to the United States upon return home. The United States just won't look the same way it did before leaving to study abroad in the country of your choice; a student may see home with new eyes and may also be more critical of U.S. cultural traditions once thought to be "normal". This is called reverse culture shock. Over time, students will learn to re-adapt.  (Adapted from The Center for Global Education's online Study Abroad Student Handbook).

Many students have returned from their study abroad program and joined or formed groups on &/or off campus with other like-minded students such as language or cultural groups.  Others join our Global Ambassador program so they can share their experiences abroad with other students. For other resources please see the following:
  • What's up with culture?  Module 2 is for returning students
  • Use your coping skills you learned when going abroad and be patient with yourself. If you are having a high level of difficulty readjusting, there is a Counseling Services Office on campus which is free to MTSU students.
  • Take care of your health - If you become sick after returning, tell your health care provider that you have traveled outside of the U.S. Because some diseases have a long incubation period, you may not be sick until after you return. If you studied abroad in a country with a High Incidence of TB, schedule a tuberculosis skin test at the Travel Clinic (located in the Campus Recreation Building) after your return. If you were exposed an illness while abroad, you wouldn't necessarily be sick. Testing is the only way to prevent serious problems later!
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MTSU Global Ambassador Program
Welcome back from an exciting study abroad program! Now that you are back at MTSU, if you find yourself wanting to connect with other study abroad returnees, wanting to mentor other students to study abroad, and would like resume building material while talking about your study abroad experiences, we have the perfect opportunity for you.  The Global Ambassador program at MTSU is a volunteer opportunity offered through the Office of Education Abroad (OEA) that is designed to engage MTSU study abroad students who have participated in an MTSU study program (Academic Year, Semester, Summer, or Winter term).  Global Ambassadors work with OEA staff to promote study abroad opportunities. 

Who is a Global Ambassador?
YOU! Global Ambassadors are study abroad returnees who are passionate about their education abroad experience and are willing to share their insight and expertise with fellow students.  

What does a Global Ambassador do?
As a student representative of the OEA a Global Ambassador will go through basic training and will utilize this knowledge plus their own personal experiences to conduct classroom presentations and assist with a number of OEA events, such as admission events, study abroad fairs, social media, tabling, pre-departure orientations, and one-on-one conversations with MTSU students. Additionally, Global Ambassadors act as a friendly face and support system to our incoming international exchange students.

Being a Global Ambassador is an exciting opportunity that empowers students to build on their global experience and help their fellow students develop an international scope to their academic experience.  All ambassadors are expected to participate in meetings and two service projects per semester. 
The service projects will be discussed and scheduled at the first meeting of each term.  Global Ambassadors will gain:
  • Leadership & Public-Speaking Skills
  • Cross-Cultural Knowledge
  • Marketing & Recruitment Experience
  • Access to Professional Development Opportunities
  • Other surprises along the way
Please see the PDF document for MTSU Global Ambassador responsibilities, expectations, and qualifications.

How can I apply?
Please read the job description carefully before applying.  Contact current Global Ambassadors to hear about their experience.
Please check back in August 2017 for the Fall 2017 term application.

If you have questions, contact Director Katherine Kovar at or Advisor Melissa Miller  You can also reach us at or stop by our office in Peck Hall 207.

Connect with current Global Ambassadors

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International Friendship Program
We hope that you had an amazing time on your program abroad and that you met students from your abroad host university that helped you ease your transition into the new culture.  Now you can reciprocate with a warm welcome for an international exchange student here at MTSU!

Every year, we have about 40 incoming exchange students that come to MTSU for either a semester or academic year. If possible, we try to match you up with a student who is from the same or similar location to where you studied, or who shares similar interests and backgrounds.  The goal of the program is to help exchange students adjust to MTSU, to foster new friendships and a sense of community, and to facilitate cultural exchange.

Incoming exchange students often arrive knowing no one and having little with them to settle into life at MTSU.   We would like to extend MTSU generosity and spirit to these students when they arrive and during their time here. 

Possible program activities include: picking up your exchange student match from the airport upon arrival, introducing your match to your friends or a student organization to which you belong, going to coffee or shopping, driving to Walmart for residence hall supplies, visiting Nashville, or going to the movies.

The Office of Education Abroad expects from you as a participant:
  • To contact the new student (usually via email) while still in his/her home university, immediately after being matched
  • To provide the student of an idea of what is expected of an MTSU student and to share tips about navigating the campus
  • To help refer the exchange student to someone on campus who is able to provide specific information when needed (ex: MT OneStop, Health Services, etc…). 
Exchange students arrive the week prior to when classes begin in either the Spring or Fall semester.  Therefore, we also expect that you will be available:
  • To assist your matched exchange student (meet with at least once, be available for questions, a friendly face, etc...) especially during the week prior to the start of classes.
To sign up or for more information, please contact Melissa Miller at

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How can I add my education abroad experience to my resumé?
Yes, your experience was "eye-opening" and "life-changing" but how can you better articulate the skills you've gained effectively?  Read this helpful Re-entry Presentation for some advice on how to talk about your education abroad experience in an interview and look at some sample resumés

(hint: your education abroad program is part of your education, not an activity!).

Advice for staying connected
Resources Language Learning Program Service Learning and Volunteer Abroad Graduate Programs of Interest
Fellowships and Grants