there & BACK
Transitioning from Study Abroad, Re-engaging on Campus
Global Education, in its many forms, permeates the Dickinson experience, cutting across the curriculum and co-curriculum alike. It begins from the moment students first step onto the campus and it continues in a sustained way through completion of studies at graduation. It includes not only the serious study of foreign language and the development of significant knowledge of a specific culture but also interdisciplinary investigation of the differing ways the forces of globalization and global institutions (e.g., the United Nations, the World Bank) affect and interact with diverse cultures and peoples, as well as, reciprocally, the complex patterns of resistance and accommodation different groups exhibit toward these global integrations and organizations.
Although the development of these language, intercultural, and analytical skills is a continuous process at Dickinson, the College recognizes that returning from abroad represents a point of significant transition for many students, academically and socially. Dickinson continues to evolve a rich and varied program of activities to help students navigate this transition successfully, providing them with opportunities to build on and integrate what they have learned abroad and share the knowledge and experiences they have acquired overseas in ways that benefit the larger college community. This program includes:
Students who have conducted significant research abroad present their projects and findings to the college community at this annual symposium. Students are nominate by Resident Directors and faculty abroad based on the quality of their work. Once selected, students are matched with interdisciplinary faculty teams who coach them on ways to improve their presentations and analyses, both prior to and following the symposium. Some students are encouraged to tie their global research to further research in a domestic context, with grant funding available to carry out this work. Last year, for example, a student who had conducted research on Spanish attitudes and beliefs toward Moroccan immigrants expanded her work with grant assistance, connecting it to attitudes and beliefs in the U.S. toward Mexican immigrants. Past participants have honed their work for Fulbright proposals and presentations at professional conferences, which indeed is one of the goals of these efforts.
Students develop significant knowledge and acquire important skills abroad. Frequently, however, they can have difficulty articulating what they have learned in ways that potential employers find valuable. In cooperation with Career Services, these "Unpacking" Workshops, originally developed by Michigan State University, challenge students to think about and talk about what they have learned in new ways, more explicitly matching skills they have developed to those employers cite as critical needs.
By the nomination of Resident Directors and overseas faculty, a group of approximately twenty returned students is selected to advise prospective study abroad participants about how to integrate their work abroad with their overall course of study. Likewise, Global Ambassadors are instrumental in helping perspective students understand and map out ways in which academic and internship opportunities abroad can advance professional and academic goals after they return. Finally, Global Ambassadors provide invaluable guidance to the Center about the effectiveness of its programs abroad and its returned student programming on campus. New "there & BACK" activities often are the product of such student-staff collaboration.
Global Case Competition:
This weekend competition will present interdisciplinary teams of students, with at least one student coming from each academic division of the college (i.e., humanities, social sciences, and the natural sciences), with a "real world" business or policy problem and ask them to design a solution, calling specifically on the comparative, analytical, and intercultural skills they have worked to develop abroad.
Global Engagement Grants:
These grants fund proposals by individual students or student groups that contribute meaningfully to our global campus and community.
Re-integrating to Campus Sessions:
These comprehensive information sessions conducted by Center staff focus on reverse culture shock and adjustment strategies. They also deal with practical issues such as processing of credit earned for work completed abroad.
"So . . . Where've You Been?": Reconnecting with Friends and Community in Carlise:
This workshop will focus on the challenges of navigating the changed social landscape students often encounter when they return from abroad to the residential college setting. The workshop will be a collaborative effort between the Center for Global Study and the Wellness and Counseling Center.