Using What You Learned While Studying Away

Center for International and Cultural Education

You did it! You studied away, and the experience has no doubt been transformative and enriching in ways you could not even have predicted. You're back home and wondering what to do with all that new perspective. So... now what?Case study sign

Bring your global perspective into your remaining courses.
Undoubtedly you gained considerable new knowledge and perspective from your study away experience – whether it was in Thailand or the Twin Cities. Think about how you can draw on this new information, new resources that you learned about, and the readings from your time studying away as you proceed in additional academic work at Gustavus. Is there an upcoming research paper that might benefit from an infusion of this information? Is there a way to think about a senior capstone or project that has global dimensions? Perhaps your main research project abroad can serve as a case study in future academic work? Returnees often find that what they have learned while studying away becomes very useful in enriching the remainder of their academic work.

Share your story!
As human beings, we need and crave narratives. Stories are how we make meaning of our lives and share that meaning with other people. There are many ways to share your stories from your time studying away. Some are informal: talking with friends, bringing your experiences in appopriate group discussions, etc. Others are more formal. You could put together a perspective piece and some photos for use in the CICE website and/or Gustavus social media (and/or your program organization's or university's channels). You could give a presentation in a course that you are not yourself taking. You could participate in the Study Away Fair and talk with students interested in your experience. There are lots of venues – you just have to find the right ones for you!

Stay globally engaged.
Especially if you studied abroad, but even if you participated in domestic study away, you may have a growing interest now in all things global and in remaining an active global citizen. You have all sorts of options. See the Remaining Engaged page for some examples.

Think ahead to possible graduate study.
If you had a truly profound learning experience while studying away, you may find that you are now inspired to dig deeper into the topics or foci of your program. Perhaps there is an appropriate master's degree program out there that would allow you to do just that. There are a number of graduate program search engines that could help (you can find them easily online). Don't forget about the option of pusuing a master's degree at a university abroad, or about bridging options like a Fulbright award. See the Remaining Engaged page for more ideas.

Apply to present at the Celebration of Creative Inquiry.
If you were able to complete a significant project while studying away – creative process/project, research, internship, etc. – consider presenting about that work at the next Celebration of Creative Inquiry. This annual event at Gustavus is an excellent chance to showcase your academic/creative work and also gives you a wonderful experience in presenting your work to others. That's a skill that almost all professionals need, in any field of work!