Returning Study Abroad Students

Students returning from an international experience can go through Reverse-Culture Shock which can hit someone harder than culture shock. Academic Year and Semester study abroad students participate in a Returning Student Seminar to help facilitate the returning home process.

Read about preparing to return to the U.S. and what to do when you return: What’s Up With Culture?.

Steps for Academic Year and Semester Students

  1. Attend Returning from Abroad Session with the Study Abroad Advisor to discuss common issues that result from returning to your home culture. Topics discussed include how to cope with reverse-culture shock, ways to get involved at Bellarmine and in the community, and how to market this experience to future employers.
  2. Meet with the Study Abroad Advisor individually to discuss Study Abroad Evaluation and the international experience. Your transcript is reviewed at this time.  
  3. Update the Course Approval Form (pdf) with all appropriate Department Chair or Program Director signatures. 
  4. Once IPO receives your transcript (and translation of the transcript, if applicable), Transcript Approval Form, and updated Course Approval Form, Study Abroad Advisor sends up all of these documents to the Registrar’s Office. At that time, your courses from abroad are added to your Bellarmine transcript. 

Steps for Short-Term Students

  1. Update the Course Approval Form if there were any last-minute changes to his/her class schedule.
  2. Once grades are received, IPO sends up transcript and Course Approval Form to the Registrar’s Office. At that time, your courses from abroad are added to your Bellarmine transcript. 

Getting Involved on Campus

Here are ways for students to become involved with their new-found knowledge and sense-of-self on campus and in the Louisville community:

  • Global Peer Mentor Program: The Global Peer Mentor Program is a great way for returning students to give back to international students on Bellarmine’s campus. Every incoming exchange student is paired with a Bellarmine student who is a Peer Mentor. Peer Mentors help international students adjust to life at Bellarmine and the U.S. including airport pickup, tours of campus and of Louisville, assistance with their classes, and much more! Peer Mentors are in contact with international students the summer before arrival so all international students have a local contact before the academic year begins.  
  • Cultures in Motion: Along with international degree-seeking and exchange students who are studying on Bellarmine’s campus, returning Bellarmine study abroad students have the opportunity to visit classrooms in Louisville. Along with their memories, they will bring souvenirs and pictures from their home country and share the significance that these carry. Students will share specific traditions celebrated in other countries and discuss ways in which a particular culture differs from U.S. culture. This program is an excellent way to bring the world to the classroom and open students’ eyes to different cultures around the world.
  • Bellarmine International Club: BIC promotes student, faculty, and community interest in customs, food, music, language, and general knowledge and understanding of different cultures; and raises global awareness, while assisting in the support and guidance of new and returning international students. Contact Erica Ward if interested.  
  • Office of Multicultural Affairs: Educating talented diverse students of many faiths, ages, nations and cultures is a core principle of Bellarmine’s mission, and it also serves as the foundational objective of the programs and services provided by the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA). More specifically, OMA creates educational opportunities for members of the Bellarmine community to critically examine their beliefs, values and assumptions as it relates to multiculturalism. To ensure we fulfill our mission we are committed to offering co-curricular programs that acknowledge and reflect the experiences of underrepresented populations, while also providing educational opportunities for all members of the campus community to examine their individual and group experiences within a culturally diverse society. The underlying goal of these two endeavors is to construct a community that acknowledges the multiple perspectives and backgrounds that are present on campus, thereby creating an inclusive and celebratory campus environment where all students, staff and faculty are valued and affirmed. 
  • Participate in the Study Abroad Fair held every September
  • Share a study abroad story at the Travels Abroad Story Night as part of International Education Week in November
  • Share your experience with other Bellarmine students through class presentations 

Getting Involved Off Campus

Get involved with the international community in Louisville through these organizations:

You want to go back abroad after graduating from Bellarmine? Click here to learn new international experience opportunities!

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