Returnees & Alumni
We're committed to ensuring students who participate in our abroad programs have all the support they need as they readjust to life at DU. Additionally, we recognize the abroad experience can be an eye-opening one that leaves students to engage internationally on a more frequent basis, and we work to facilitate opportunities for international engagement both at DU and within the larger Denver community.
Your Experience Abroad and At Home
You may find that readjusting to life in the U.S. is more difficult than the adjustment you made to a new culture several months ago. As you reflect on your time abroad and how best to integrate your international experience with life back at DU, we encourage you to make use of the following resources. The various links below provide additional information on re-entry, including additional information on reverse culture shock, strategies for adapting to life back home, and suggestions on how to integrate your experiences abroad into life back home.
- Returnee Challenges and Coping Strategies
- What's up with culture? Module 2
- Top 5 Things NOT To Do After Returning From Abroad
- 5 Ways to Cope with Reverse Culture Shock
- SIT Toolkit for Returning Students – Strategies for re-entry and engagement back home
DU also offers a number of resources to help students who have returned from abroad adjust to life back on campus and to think about ways to integrate your new experiences and perspectives into your personal life, as well as your academic and career pathways.
- OIE- Meet with an advisor! We love hearing from students when they are back from abroad. We've all lived and spent extensive time abroad and understand the challenges that can come with returning home, as well as the desire to keep your international experience alive! We also offer programming geared at helping study abroad returnees reflect on and integrate their experiences from abroad into their lives at DU. See Ongoing Intercultural/ Global Engagement for more on this.
- Health and Counseling Center (HCC) - If you are struggling upon return, you can also reach out to the HCC. Individual appointments are available as well as group programming and sessions.
- Faculty Advisors - Has study abroad led you to rethink your academic goals? Meet with your faculty advisor to talk about ways to incorporate global perspectives, new found passions and goals into your academic pursuits.
- DU Career Services - How do you plan on incorporating your study abroad experience into your career plans and job search? A career counselor can help you to appropriately incorporate your experience abroad into your resume, cover letter, and job interviews, as well as to evaluate and consider different career goals and pathways.
- The Cultural Center - Engage with diversity at home. The Office can help you explore and connect with programming around multiculturalism here at DU and within Denver.
- Center for Sustainability - Did your experience abroad leave you passionate about sustainability issues? The Center for Sustainability and various sustainability focused student groups on campus provide outlets to explore new ways to live more sustainability while practicing global citizenship here at home.
One of the best ways to work through reverse culture shock is to incorporate what you've learned abroad into your everyday life back home in your local community and live out your commitment to global citizenship. See the next sections for some ideas around opportunities to engage with the international community on-campus and in the Denver area.
Marketing Your Experience Abroad
The personal growth, knowledge, perspectives, and skills that you have gained abroad can help you to stand out in the job market, but only if you know how to articulate those experiences in language that makes sense to a prospective employer. The resources provided below will help you to reflect upon your experiences abroad and articulate what you've gained from those experiences so as to stand out in the job market.
- Marketing Your International Experience Prezi, created by a DU study abroad alum, this presentation walks you through the process of reflecting on the most salient aspects of your experience abroad, defining your "elevator speech," and incorporating your skills and experiences from abroad into your resume, cover letter, and job interviews in meaningful ways that will help you stand out to employers.
- Marketing Your International Experience Workbook – Tips from AIFS Study Abroad for reflecting on and marketing your experience abroad.
- Incorporating Your Study Abroad Experience in Your Job Search - Advice from DU Career Services. Checkout the DU Career Services website for additional resources and information regarding career planning, resumes & interviews, and the internship and job search.
- GoinGlobal is another great resource offered through DU Career Services. It provides access to a large database of international internships and work opportunities, as well as great information for seeking work abroad, including country specific resume tips, city guides, and more.
- Resume Tips for Study Abroad Returnees - This resource from the University of Minnesota provides quick, helpful tips on ways to highlight your experience abroad in your resume, cover letter, and interviews.
Connect with DU Career Services, an OIE advisor, or your faculty advisor about ways to further incorporate your study abroad experience into your academic and career pursuits.
Engage Internationally at DU
Your international education does not end when you step off the plane in the US! Some students choose to maintain a “study abroad attitude” in Denver or their hometown. We recommend you keep the same sense of adventure and exploration. Continue to discover people and places you may have overlooked before going abroad. Find a new restaurant that serves the same foods you enjoyed while abroad. Is there a neighborhood of immigrants from the region you just visited? Local museums may even have collections from your host country. Once your eyes have opened through your experience, you will discover a new world right in your own backyard.
Stay connected with your abroad experience! Take advantage of OIE returnee programming, be a resource for future study abroad students, and stay up to date on current happenings, events, and ways to get involved on campus:
Connect with Future Study Abroad Students:
- Look for an invitation to the Regional Pre-departure Orientations (Spring Qtr)
- Let your OIE advisor know if you're interested in connecting with outgoing students
Join DU Summits & Conferences: Present, volunteer, or attend! Consider incorporating your work & experiences abroad into a presentation for any of these events to bolster your resume:
- Internationalization Summit (April)
- Diversity Summit (January)
- Sustainability Summit (April)
- Also consider the Women's Conference (March) & Research Showcase (May)
Connect with International Students at DU:
- Join the International Student Organization or a Language Club
- Get involved in Culture Fest - volunteer, perform, have a booth, or just join in for the fun and attend!
- Join the Global Friends Program to be connected with an international student
- Follow International Student Scholar Services for events & more: Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter
Study Another Language:
- Languages, Literatures & Cultures (LL&C) offers for-credit language study as well as events & activities
- Spanish Language, Literary, and Cultural Studies (SLLCS) also offers for-credit language study
- Center for World Languages & Cultures (CWLC) offers language tutoring, classes & directed independent study options for diverse languages
- Join or start a language club – ask Languages & Literature for details (LLandC@du.edu)
- Find an immigrant community in Denver to engage & practice language skills acquired abroad
- Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL): service opportunities at DU and in the local community
- Rotaract: A Rotary-sponsored service club for young adults ages 18–30
Join a Student Org or Event:
- Student Affairs & Inclusive Excellence provides information on student organizations & events on campus
Check out a Korbel Initiative/Center: The Josef Korbel School of International Studies (JKSIS) hosts a number of centers and initiatives that sponsor cultural and international related research, events, speakers, and publications.
Engage Internationally in the Denver Community
Use the list below as a starting point for exploring different organizations in the Denver area that provide opportunities to get involved through service and events:
DU's Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL): Offers service opportunities with community partners in multiple issue areas, including human rights; immigration, refugee, and international issues; education; poverty, homelessness, and affordable housing; and gender issues. Search DU Something: Volunteer for opportunities to get involved.
Teach English as a Second Language (ESL):
- Teach classes on campus to DU employees through Intercambio de Comunidades.
- Mi Casa Denver: Works towards increasing the self-sufficiency of low-income Latinas and youth. The website provides a complete list of volunteer opportunities as well as a list of needed items for possible donation.
- Museo de Las Americas: Museum meant to educate the public about Latino Americano art and culture.
- Project CURE: Provides medical supplies to countries in need. Volunteers will do a variety of tasks, ranging from the search for and collection of supplies to sorting and sending those supplies to various countries.
- Denver Sister Cities International: Works towards promoting peace through the mutual understanding that comes with the immersion of different cultures. Through DSCI, Denver is connected to many international cities, her “sister cities." Activities may include presenting information on a city to elementary schools, planning and implementing pen pal exchange programs, or fundraising.
- Colorado Refugee English as a Second Language Program (CRESL): Serves adult refugees who have recently resettled in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs.
- Alliance Française de Denver: Australian Rules Football Club based in Denver that actively recruits new members (women and men).
- World Denver: Offers the chance for the public to ask questions of world affairs experts. They also lead programs abroad and coordinate exchanges between schools and businesses.
- Conference on World Affairs: At CU-Boulder is a conference which hosts hundreds of forums about every conceivable topic, ranging from international issues to art. Attendees have the opportunity to choose which forums they would like to attend, and they sit in on debates for those forums which are usually followed by an interactive discussion between the debaters and the audience.
- Posner Center for International Development: Hosts a variety of international non-profit organizations and events
- World Affairs Challenge: Organization often seeking interns, judges, and mentors for high school participants.
- Denver Council on Foreign Relations: Hosts lectures year-round on a variety of interesting international topics.
- Mosaic Multicultural Foundation: Promotes harmony through dialogue and sponsor a number of education events.
Go Abroad Again
Has your study abroad experience left you eager for another international experience? Or perhaps you weren't able to make an academic term abroad work? There are numerous ways to go abroad- be it your first time, or if you are looking to go abroad again.
Check out the following pages for various options to get yourself abroad again through the OIE, short-term study abroad options, graduate studies, service, internship, or work abroad opportunities.
More opportunities to study internationally as a DU Student:
- Study Abroad again through the OIE! If your academic schedule allows it, why not do another term abroad? Summer study abroad is also available through unaffiliated programs. Pay attention to application deadlines!
- The Office of Special Programs offers interterm travel courses.
- Several academic departments also offer programs during interterms. Contact your major advisor to see if there are any such programs in your department.
Graduate Studies Abroad:
Some universities around the world welcome international students for graduate degrees. Many of them do not require a placement exam like the GRE or GMAT and offer one-year masters degree programs. Best of all, many of these universities have more reasonable tuition fees than you will find in the US, yet with a comparable quality of education. It is also possible to apply US Federal Financial Aid towards your studies at recognized institutions. Certain countries, like the United Kingdom, will give you a 1- or 2-year work visa upon completion of an advanced degree in their country. To learn more, visit the following websites:
- Germany (programs in English)
- Guidance on programs worldwide
Internships, Work, and Service Abroad:
- Connect with Career Services at the University of Denver to explore opportunities and polish up your resume and cover letters. Your study abroad experience can be a great asset in setting you apart in the job market, but only if you know how to appropriately market the skills and knowledge you've gained.
- GoinGlobal offered through Career Services provides access to a large database of international internships and work opportunities. It also provides great information for seeking work abroad, including country-specific resume tips, city guides, and more.
- Transitions Abroad guide to travel, work, living, volunteering, and study abroad
- GoAbroad search for opportunities to volunteer, intern, tech or study abroad
- Career opportunities through the U.S. State Department
- Peace Corps offers fully funded two-year service opportunities for US citizens in communities around the globe.
- The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program places recent college graduates in Japanese primary schools to teach English.
- The US State Department - Student Programs
- Fulbright offers funding to teach English abroad
- International Internship Directory
- DAAD - Internships in Germany (often there is no language prerequisite)
- Cultural Vistas offers internships and other immersion experiences in Germany, Argentina, and India
- BUNAC – Work or volunteer abroad in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere
- The Mountbatten Institute offers internships and graduate programs abroad.
- AIESEC offers international paid internship programs worldwide
- Bridge - Teach English or volunteer abroad
- CIEE is a well-known study abroad provider that offers postgraduate opportunities
- Alliance Abroad Group
- Academic Internships through EUSA
- Work in tourism and resort management - Daniels Career Services
- Cruise jobs
- Work at a resort
*Although the University of Denver has listed these websites here, their presence here is not an official endorsement or recommendation of these institutions. These are here only for ideas.