Staying connected to your study abroad experience

Re-Entry: Stay Connected

Study abroad alums often seek out ways to stay connected with their host country and retain an international frame of mind. We have a few suggestions below. Let us know if you have other good ideas to add to the list!

  • Become a Global Ambassador for Syracuse Abroad.
  • Tell your professors how study abroad impacted and enhanced your educational experience.
  • Do you belong to an organization or club on campus? Give an informal presentation about your study abroad experience to your group.
  • Study abroad again!
  • Stay in touch with fellow study abroad students through the Facebook group you joined when you were admitted to your Syracuse Abroad program.
  • Celebrate holidays from your adopted country and invite your friends: Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, Bastille Day, Diwali (Festival of Lights), Boxing Day, Carnival, Chinese New Year.
  • Attend a one-day Lessons From Abroad regional conference for study abroad returnees and discover how you can work or live abroad after graduation. Share and process your study abroad experience with other attendees.

Below are other ideas from the Lessons From Abroad website on how to stay connected with your experience:

  • Vote
  • Stay in touch with domestic friends from your study abroad program
  • Stay in touch with international friends and your host family from your study abroad program
  • Read the online newspaper from your study abroad location. See how your study abroad location is portrayed in the media and help to adjust the U.S. perception if it is not correct
  • Blog or keep a journal about your returnee experience
  • Go to international events on your campus and in the surrounding community
  • Find language partners to keep using your language skills
  • Continue taking a language on your campus. If not offered at your campus, look at Adult/Continuing Ed classes in your town
  • Check out service programs like AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps and SeniorCorps
  • Get your ESL certificate and teach English domestically or abroad
  • Make an effort to become friends with the international students on your campus. They are studying abroad in the U.S. and you have an opportunity to have a positive impact on their time here
  • Host an internationally-focused event (consider inviting international students to join the event)
  • Talk to your local Chamber of Commerce about internationally-themed events they know of in your community and companies from abroad based nearby
  • Start a meetup group
  • Cook a meal from your time abroad for family and friends
  • Seek out organizations in your city who work with refugees and see how you can help
  • Support local (international) businesses
  • See if your local library needs volunteers for translator services
  • Shop Smart: It is important to be a conscientious consumer. Look at where your clothes or food are made and consider adjusting your buying habits if you don’t like what you see
  • Write a book or screenplay about your experience
  • Start your own company with a pay-it-forward mission (Pacha Soap, TOMS, Warby Parker are all examples)
  • Find a way to take your hobbies and passions and give them an international focus
  • Plan on having a family one day? Ensure your children learn a second or third language. Take them to culturally-diverse events. Show them movies from outside the US pop-culture realm

Specific to the SU campus:

  • Become a Connections Mentor and help first-year international students integrate into the SU community. Application deadline is early spring for participation beginning the following August.
  • Participate in a Language Table. Speakers at all levels of Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hindi-Urdu, Spanish, and Turkish are welcomed to join. Schedules are set up at the beginning of each semester and listed on the main SU Calendar of Events. Offerings may vary from semester-to-semester based on student interest.
  • Attend a one-hour workshop entitled “Marketing Your Study Abroad Experience” and learn how to maximize your potential to land a great job! These workshops are offered twice each semester in collaboration with the Office of Career Services. Check with Syracuse Abroad for upcoming dates.
  • Attend a Mix-It-Up event at the Slutzker Center for International Services and share good food, and intercultural dialogue. All students (international, domestic, undergrad, and grad) are welcome to attend this free and fun way to promote inclusion and understanding on the SU campus. Sign up for the Slutzker Center newsletter to learn the dates of upcoming Mix-It-Up events or check out their website.
  • Take part in the activities offered on the Syracuse University campus during International Education Week each November. Check the main SU Calendar of Events.
  • Be an English Conversation Group Leader for international students, professors, and spouses. Small conversation groups of 4 to 5 people meet for one hour each week at the Slutzker Center.
  • Join one of the international student organizations on the SU campus. Here’s a sampling of what’s available:
    • African Student Union
    • Better Together Interfaith Alliance
    • Caribbean Students Association
    • Hong Kong Cultural Organization
    • International Relations at Syracuse University
    • Japanese Student Association
    • Korean American Student Association
    • Korean Student Association
    • South Asian Students Association
    • Taiwan Connection
    • Turkish Student Association
    • Work in Asia
  • The Office of Multicultural Affairs, in collaboration with other departments, hosts a series of events each April in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Check out a movie or a lecture.
  • If you’re an alumnus who’s interested in re-connecting with your Syracuse Abroad program in some way, email Jenn Horvath and she can direct you to available resources!