Returning to TTU
Welcome Back, Study Abroad Alumni!
Congratulations on completing your study abroad program! We sincerely hope that your international experience was intellectually inspiring and personally transformative, and we are excited to have you back on campus. Now that you are back home, you won't want to miss out on upcoming events and opportunities.
Keep reading for more resources and information for study abroad alumni, including how to connect with the different student organizations that may be able to offer support during your transition back home as you continue making meaning of your experiences abroad.
Reverse Culture Shock
We recognize that returning home after an impactful study abroad experience can sometimes be more difficult than leaving in the first place. You may feel that you've just had an amazing, life-changing experience, yet you have returned home to the "same-ol'-same-ol.'"
Many students experience what is called "reverse culture shock." The University of the Pacific's "What's Up with Culture" online modules are a great starting point to help you readjust to life at home (especially module 2). Also, check out an article published by GoOverseas.com which describes how to deal with reverse culture shock.
You may feel like your friends and family no longer want to hear your stories from abroad. Never fear - your Study Abroad Counselor never gets tired of tales from afar! Schedule a welcome back appointment with your Study Abroad Counselor to debrief your time overseas.
The Study Abroad Office has prepared a re-entry toolkit to assist your adjustment. This toolkit is a self-led guidebook which includes re-entry exercises, and information about reverse culture shock. Check it out!
Finally, you can also visit the TTU Student Counseling Center to speak confidentially with a licensed professional or battle reverse culture shock by getting involved on campus.
Everyone goes through reverse culture shock to some degree. This is completely normal and we are here to help support your return home.
There are a lot of ways to get involved on campus after you come back from studying abroad. Texas Tech is home to several student organizations that help to promote internationalization on campus. Check out:
Study Abroad Peer Advisors
Study Abroad Peer Advisors (SAPA) is a TTU student organization comprised of study abroad alumni who hope to inspire other students by sharing stories, insights, and wisdom. SAPA helps the Office of International Affairs at events such as the annual Study Abroad Fair. SAPA serves as a resource for future study abroad students seeking information about study abroad from a student perspective.
Rawls College of Business Center for Global Engagement Diplomats
Similar to SAPA, the Rawls Diplomats are a student organization comprised of Rawls study abroad alumni interested in promoting study abroad within the RCOBA community.
Whitacre College of Engineering Diplomats
Similar to SAPA, the Engineering Diplomats are study abroad alumni interested in promoting study abroad within the College of Engineering.
Other Student Organizations
Texas Tech has many internationally-focused student groups. Joining an internationally-focused student group is a great way to meet international students and promote cultures from different parts of the world.
Study Abroad Volunteers
Want to be involved with study abroad but can't commit to joining a student organization? No problem! The Study Abroad Office commonly needs volunteers for events, presentations or the like. The time commitment is limited - often just a few hours. If you're interested, sign up to be a study abroad volunteer!
Contests & Creativity
Annual Study Abroad Photo Contest
"Adventures in Study Abroad" is a juried photo contest that shows off the best images taken by students on TTU-approved study abroad programs. The exhibit is on view generally from March through mid-April. For submission requirements, learn more about the Adventures in Study Abroad Photo Exhibit or email Jan Stogner, Assistant Director of International Arts and Culture.
Other college or departments outside of the Office of International Affairs may also host annual photo contests. Please contact those departments directly for additional details.
As the name implies, digital storytelling is the process of telling a story by combining images, videos, voice recordings, and music into a short (ideally 3-5 minute) video that communicates your message on a personal, powerful level.
By creating your video, you can enhance critical communication skills that allow you to talk about your study abroad experience effectively. If you're not sure how to get started, utilize instructions for creating a digital story . Making a digital story is an opportunity to think differently about your international experience and synthesize the lessons you learned abroad.
Example Digital Stories
Study Abroad PechaKucha
PechaKucha (pronounced Puh-chaw-Kuh-chaw) is a style of presentation developed in Japan in 2003. The purpose of this presentation format is to channel human creativity into a 6-minute and 40-second PowerPoint that communicates a central message in a fun, informal way. Each PowerPoint is comprised of 20 images placed on 20 slides that are shown for 20 seconds each. The slides advance automatically, and presenters are cued to speak along with their images.
We invite study abroad alumni to create and perform a mini-PechaKucha comprised of 15 images placed on 15 slides that are shown for 20 seconds each. In 5 minutes, you can share a story and photos from your study abroad experience to illustrate the impact that it had on you.
What makes a good PechaKucha? Good PechaKuchas uncover something unexpected – a talent, an idea, or an intense emotional experience. Some are incredibly personal, some are funny, but all are very different and unique to the individual who studied abroad. If you are interested in showcasing your PechaKucha, email email@example.com.
Get Your Study Abroad Stories Published
Many students keep blogs while studying abroad, but not all students realize that they can get their writing published! For more information, you should contact your Study Abroad Counselor or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Study Abroad and Your Career
Your international experience doesn't end now that you're back home. Through your study abroad program, you have gained impressive skills and experience that future employers want! Now is the time to market your study abroad experience to ensure your investment in your international program pays off! Carry your study abroad experience forward to accomplish your future goals! Learn about study abroad and your career, as well as international job opportunities.