Returning to Mount Holyoke

Even though you may only have been away for three weeks or three months, the “re-entry shock” that affects many students who go abroad for a semester or year can still be a real issue for you. Returning to the routines and stresses of a college semester after your exciting and dynamic experiences abroad can be very challenging. Look for opportunities to incorporate what you learned abroad into your life on campus, so that you can cultivate your new knowledge. Write about your thoughts and experiences from your perspective as a returned student (if you are interested in publishing them, see the third bullet in the “Returning to Mount Holyoke” section); join a cultural club or language table; look for opportunities to present your experiences in your department, classes, or residence hall; and find people to talk to who are interested and can relate. It can be difficult for even the best of friends to relate to and converse at length about what you went through.

Depending on which office you arranged your opportunity abroad with, requirements for returning students will vary. Your evaluation of and comments about your experience are most valuable when they are fresh, so please take care of any paperwork as soon as you get back, before the semester takes over.