GEO offers many opportunities for study abroad alumni to continue their international education and share their experiences abroad in a variety of contexts. The following are a few examples:
GEO Welcome Back Returnee Workshop
During the Fall term and Winter term, GEO Staff members host an event to welcome back students who have recently returned to the UO campus from abroad. The workshop aims to achieve 2 main goals: First, we plan activities and conversations to help students reflect upon their experience abroad. This is a good moment for students to share their observations, thoughts, and feelings with others who have gone through similar experiences. We will help students unpack the various cultural experiences and offer support as students go through reverse culture shift. The second goal is to present students with concrete strategies on how to remain engaged with international opportunities. We invite the Career Center to talk about international careers and resume writing; we invite Peace Corps to talk about international volunteer work. We also have speakers from the Graduate School and Office of Distinguished Scholarships to talk about international research, international degrees, and funding opportunities such as Fulbright. For more information, please contact Chinyi Chen (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kayla Grosjean (email@example.com).
Lessons from Abroad
If you are unable to attend the GEO Welcome Back Workshop held on the UO campus, you can also participate in workshops and conferences organized by Lessons from Abroad. This is a national organization that hosts returnee events throughout the year in various geographic regions. For more information, go to: http://www.lessonsfromabroad.org
International Peer Assistants
Now that you have studied abroad, you have an opportunity to work part-time at the GEO office in Eugene as an International Peer Assistant (IPAs). IPAs promote study abroad on campus by carrying out class visits, coordinating the annual study abroad fair, tabling at events, liaising with student groups, and assisting with orientations and info sessions. For more information, please contact Kayla Grosjean (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Many universities try to connect international students with other students on campus who have strong cross-cultural communication skills. Students who study abroad not only have this skill, they often also have the interest in engaging with international cultures. At the UO, students can serve as conversation partners or tutors with the American English Institute (AEI). https://aei.uoregon.edu
The Mills International Center at the UO (located in the EMU) is a great place to engage with students, staff, and faculty interested in international cultures and languages. Not only does the Mills Center have a robust library of international magazines and travel books, they also host weekly language circles where people with varying levels of proficiency gather to practice speaking a foreign language. Typically there are language circles for Spanish, French, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic, Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, and German. https://mills.uoregon.edu