Resources While Abroad
This section will prepare students for their time abroad, using tools that have been made available to them by CAPA for all of their pre-departure questions. Here, students can find information on everything from engaging with their peer group in leadership roles whilst overseas and other internal resources facilitated by the CAPA program, to additional external resources offered in their city of study. These and other resources will enable students to have as unique and fulfilling time abroad as possible.
CAPA’s student conduct code ensures that you remain safe and healthy and that you have the best possible experience while abroad.
As a participant of a program with the CAPA International Education (herein referred to as CAPA), I agree to abide by the following rules and code of conduct.
I understand that it is extremely important to show the utmost respect, decorum and maturity when living with a community of people, and I am aware that this Student Code of Conduct covers all CAPA participants living in all CAPA residences. I will also respect all CAPA and residence staff and adhere to their directions when approached on housing and behavioral infractions.
Lastly, I am fully aware that I could be dismissed from my residence and from the program if I do not follow these rules and codes of conduct. I am also aware that no refunds for program fees will be made as agreed upon in my study abroad application.
A. Residential Rules and Code of Conduct – Apartments, Dormitories, Hotels:
- A high regard of the rights of all residents is essential for creating a healthy community spirit. Respect should be shown to all CAPA students and staff, as well as to others residing within the building and the neighborhood.
- Quiet Hours are to be enforced from 11:00pm to 7:00am seven days per week. Care is required when returning home to the residence as noise travels within hallways. Also, our neighbors do not appreciate loud drunken behavior, and they are not shy about calling the police or the local government authority to complain about loud noises. Thus, it is necessary to be courteous at all times.
- There is a strict NO OVERNIGHT GUEST policy in all CAPA residences. Please ensure that all non-CAPA guests are out of the residences during quiet hours. Please also be aware that there is a NO GUEST POLICY in the residences during quiet hours, and this policy applies to CAPA students as well as non-CAPA guests. Please be respectful of your roommates and/or flatmates at all times.
- You are responsible for all people (i.e. fellow residents or guests), actions and activities that occur in your apartment/room. Therefore, it is your responsibility to help remind fellow residents and guests of these residential rules and to always adhere to CAPA’s code of conduct.
- Possessing or using ANY illegal drug is STRICTLY prohibited, and all staff and faculty are required to call the police and report any suspicion of such illegal activity. Please do not underestimate the seriousness of such an offence. In addition to being bound by local laws and methods of prosecution, any violator of CAPA’s NO DRUG policy will be dismissed from the residence and from the program at his/her own expense.
- Throwing items such as food and trash out of windows is very dangerous and is not allowed.
- Gaining access to the roof for reasons other than exiting for a fire is not authorized, and offenders will be held responsible for all damage and/or injury incurred from such action. If necessary, final grades will be held until payment is made.
- For apartments and dormitories, please fill out the inventory checklist upon arrival and return it as instructed on the checklist. At the end of the program, the housing provider will assess all apartments/rooms for damages and missing items during check out and/or after departure, and you will be held accountable for all damages and any missing items in your apartment/room. If necessary, final grades will be held until payment is made.
- You are accountable for all residential keys issued to you at the start of the program. If for any reason you lose your keys, please inform the CAPA CENTER. Replacement keys may be purchased at a fee as determined by the housing provider.
B. Residential Rules and Code of Conduct – Homestays:
- Respect should be shown to all CAPA students and staff as well as to all those residing within the homestay and its neighborhood during the program.
- Quiet Hours are to be enforced from 11:00pm to 7:00am seven days per week. Care is required when returning home to avoid disturbing your hosts. Also, your neighbors do not appreciate loud drunken behavior, and they are not shy about calling the police or the local government authority to complain about loud noises.
- Guests during the day are not allowed unless you have prior permission from your hosts. Do not arrange meetings with your friends or classmates at your host family’s home. If you are dating, do not invite your boyfriend/girlfriend to go to your room. Do not invite guests to stay for meals.
- There is a strict NO OVERNIGHT GUEST policy in all CAPA homestays. Even if you have permission from your hosts to have guests in the house during the day, they must not ever spend the night. Do not ask your hosts for permission for guests to spend the night – in no cases is this acceptable.
- Although there is no specific curfew, simple courtesy requires you to notify your host family when you will be home late. They feel responsible for your welfare and will worry if they do not know what time you plan to return.
- If you are going to be away overnight or for the weekend, you must inform your family in advance.
- You are responsible for all guests, actions and activities that occur in your room. Therefore, it is your responsibility to help remind guests of these rules and to always adhere to CAPA’s code of conduct.
- Possessing or using ANY illegal drug is STRICTLY prohibited, and all staff, homestay families and faculty are required to call the police and report any suspicion of such illegal activity. Please do not underestimate the seriousness of such an offence. In addition to being bound by local laws and methods of prosecution, any violator of CAPA’s NO DRUG policy will be dismissed from the homestay and from the program at his/her own expense.
- You are expected to keep your bedroom tidy and presentable.
- You must abide by the individual “house rules” set by your homestay – these rules apply to such things as the use of the television, phone, bathroom, washing machine, kitchen, as well as locking up at night.
- You will be held accountable for all damages you or you guests cause and any missing items from your room/homestay. If necessary, final grades will be held until payment is made.
- You are accountable for all keys issued to you at the start of the program. If for any reason you lose your keys, please inform the CAPA CENTER immediately as the safety of your host family is also affected by this loss. Replacement keys may be purchased at a fee.
- All home campus codes and rules of behavior still apply while you are studying abroad.
C. Fire regulations that must be followed in all residences and homestays:
- Smoking is prohibited in all CAPA housing.
- Candles are prohibited in all CAPA housing.
- Excessive use of extension cords is prohibited in all CAPA housing.
- Before using any appliances you have brought from the US, ensure that you have a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter. Failure to do so could result in damage to your appliance as well as electrical shock.
- Multi-plug adaptors which allow you to plug multiple appliances into one plug socket are prohibited in all CAPA housing.
- Barbecues are prohibited in all CAPA housing.
- Tampering with fire alarms and sensors is against the law and strictly enforced. If anybody is caught, both you and CAPA will be subject to criminal prosecution.
- Any additional fire regulations and instructions displayed in your housing must be followed.
D. General Behavioral Rules and Codes of Conduct:
- All forms of dishonesty which harm others or undermine the academic purpose of the program or a program activity is prohibited, whether they occur by act or omission. Such forms include, but are not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, knowingly furnishing false information to staff, faculty and other designated leaders, and forgery, alteration or use of any institution’s or CAPA’s documents or instruments of identification with intent to defraud.
- Disruptive behavior is prohibited, both in and outside the classroom. This includes, but is not limited to unwanted sexual contact, sexual exposure, physical abuse, assault and/or battery, harassment, threats to or intimidation of any person, student or staff member involved on any CAPA program.
- Use of social networking sites to bully, harass or intimidate any person, student or staff member involved on any CAPA program is prohibited.
- Possession or use of illegal drugs is strictly prohibited.
- Any act of theft or damage to any premises or property of any individual or institution, regardless if they are affiliated with the program or CAPA, is not allowed.
- You should follow all the rules set out in this contract and other rules distributed prior to departure and upon arrival pertaining to your residence and all other CAPA-designated residences and buildings, including homestays. It is YOUR responsibility to make yourself knowledgeable of all residential and behavioral rules and regulations.
- You should co-operate and remain respectful of the staff, faculty and other designated leaders/supervisors throughout the program.
- You should be responsible and respectful when dealing with neighbors and local citizens, for you are representing your institution, CAPA and your country while you are studying abroad.
- Students are required to fulfill to the best of their ability all requirements in their academic and/or internship programs, including but not limited to, attendance, maintenance of adequate academic standing, and completion of coursework/internship work. Students are also required to provide CAPA with any information required by the local government in regards to visas - this can include providing CAPA with your original passport for copying.
- All home campus codes and rules of behavior still apply while you are studying abroad, and you will still be subject to any disciplinary action they may choose to take in addition to that taken by CAPA. .
E. Disciplinary Action:
For a first offence, a verbal warning will be issued and your home institution will be notified.
A second offence will result in a written warning, and an incident form will be filed at CAPA and your home institution will be notified.
For a third offence, there will be a consultation with the Resident Director of CAPA with possible expulsion from the residence and the program.
CAPA reserves the right to by-pass the verbal and written warning stage(s) of disciplinary action when extreme behavior/actions warrant immediate administrative assessment and follow up. Additionally, CAPA reserves the right to expel any student(s) from any CAPA residence and from the program if they should breach the above rules and code of conduct. Additionally, grades will not be released until any damages are paid for in full. Note that your home institution may also take additional disciplinary action.
CAPA students should implicitly understand that this code of conduct has been designed to ensure that the rights and safety of all participants are protected and maintained in order to create a healthy community and program spirit.
Keeping yourself safe while abroad is key to a successful experience.
Be Aware and Assertive
The key to personal safety is being aware of your environment at all times and developing “street smarts.” Begin this preparation before you depart by reading about your host country and speaking with others who have traveled or lived there. Inquire about the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. At your in-country orientation, pay attention to information regarding safety precautions.
Learn to constantly employ a heightened sense of awareness. Glance to your left and right so you know who and what is nearby. Attackers or pickpockets are likely to prey on people who look confused or occupied (or intoxicated!) so send an assertive message by using strong, confident body posture. When walking, hold your head high, keep your back straight, and walk with a determined stride (even if you are not sure where you are going). Many potential problem situations can be stopped in their initial stages by demonstrating awareness and an assertive response. Set physical limits and if someone oversteps your boundaries, let them know in a strong, assertive tone of voice.
Build a Support System
One of your first priorities upon arrival should be to build a support system. Add to the emergency contacts page in the handbook and make a short list to be carried with you. The list should include people who you can trust to be supportive in an emergency. Also learn to use public phones immediately upon arrival, even if you plan to have a cell phone.
The following are some safety tips for international travel:
- Always use common sense.
- Do not go out alone at night; always travel with a companion.
- Do not take short cuts through dark side streets, stay in well-lit and populated areas.
- When you are out walking in towns or cities, don’t go out in large groups if possible. Separate yourselves into groups of 2-4 persons. If you walk around as a herd, you will stand out, will attract unfavorable attention and may even seem a little threatening to local people.
- Under no circumstances should you ever give your passport to anyone.
- When you feel uncomfortable with your surroundings, trust your instincts and move on.
- Take care crossing streets; pedestrians do not have the right of way. Beware of fast aggressive drivers in narrow streets.
- Always ask the taxi driver to use the meter or agree on a price before getting in.
- Keep your bags with you at all times, no matter how safe a situation may seem. Always wrap a strap from your bag around your shoulder or leg if sitting down at a table or on a park bench. Thieves are quick and clever.
- Keep your camera hidden unless taking a photo. Never put it down or ask a stranger to take a photo of you.
- Avoid illegal drugs. You are subject to the laws of the country in which you are traveling.
- Immediately notify the police of all losses or other incidents and get a copy of the official police report.
What to do if you lose your passport
Don’t panic. There are ways of getting a replacement passport. First you need to report your passport as lost to the local police station and to the American Embassy Passport office. When you go, you should know your social security number and you should bring with you anything that could help identify who you are. This could include other IDs, plane tickets and letters addressed to you. As has been suggested to you, keep a photocopy of your passport either in your luggage as well as electronically. Having access to a copy of your passport will greatly assist in the replacement process. Ideally, you should bring at least two of the following things:
- A friend who is an American citizen with a valid US passport who has known you for a couple years and can vouch that you are an American citizen.
- Your birth certificate. A faxed copy is not legally acceptable, so you will need to have a parent or guardian send it to you, perhaps via FedEx.
- Your American driver’s license
- A copy of the current (lost) passport or an old passport
You may have to get a temporary document that you can use until you get back to the United States. Once back in the US, you will have access to all the documentation needed for another permanent passport and can process it then. Passport replacement will carry a fee that can vary from location to location.
The most important of your responsibilities while abroad is to take preventative measures to maintain your health and wellness.
It will take some time for your body to adjust to changes in food, water, daily routine, altitude, and weather conditions. You may be susceptible to colds as your body adjusts to the new environment. Regularly wash your hands with warm soapy water. Be sure to get enough sleep, rest, and eat balanced meals.
If you do become sick, it is best to let your CAPA Student Advisor and/or Resident Director know.
You can see a doctor while studying abroad. Information on local doctors will be given to you in your orientation pack onsite, and this information is also kept at reception for ease of access. And of course, CAPA or your host family can advise you of the doctor nearest you. Note that you will need to pay for any medical costs at the time of the visit. Be sure to keep your receipt and submit it with your claim form for reimbursement by the CAPA insurance. Should you have any questions about the coverage or how to fill in your claim form, please contact the insurance company directly:
Prescriptions and Personal Health Conditions
Immersing yourself in a new environment may be stressful at times, so it is recommended that you continue taking any regular prescriptions. Speak with your doctor regarding your personal health and prescriptions before going abroad. Bring a sufficient supply of any prescription or over the counter medication you use on a regular basis, including birth control pills. They must be in their original containers and labeled accordingly. Pack all prescriptions in your carry-on bag. Be prepared to answer questions about them.
If you have a medical condition that is not visible (diabetes, epilepsy, drug allergies, etc) it is advisable to wear a medic alert bracelet while abroad. You should also inform study abroad program staff and your travel companions, so that they will be prepared in case of an emergency. If you have a medical condition that could be aggravated by conditions abroad (asthma on dusty roads), carefully consider how you will address this problem and discuss it with your doctor.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Some prescribed drugs in the US may be controlled in other countries. Please check with your personal doctor and the Embassy of the country in which you are studying to see if and what drugs are controlled. If you wish to take drugs that are controlled, you will require special authorization to bring them into the country in which you are studying. You can obtain this from the country specific Embassy in the United States. NOTE: If caught with controlled drugs in your possession, you may be subject to severe penalties.
STDs and HIV/AIDS
There is no such thing as a high-risk group; there is only high-risk behavior. Either abstain from sexual activity or practice safer sex. Both men and women should carry protection. Avoid injections, but if any are necessary for medical reasons, make sure that the syringe used comes directly from a sealed package. Diabetics are encouraged to bring a sufficient supply of needles and syringes with a prescription and doctor’s authorization. Avoid ear and body piercing and tattooing abroad.
Please be aware that when you are abroad, you are subject to the jurisdiction of all local laws of the country you are visiting. Depending where you go, this may include pre-trial confinement in substandard prison conditions for weeks or months. Buying, carrying, or even accompanying friends who have even a small amount of drugs may result in arrest. In fact, Americans abroad have been jailed for possessing as little as three grams (a tenth of an ounce) of marijuana. Be aware that drug pushers, after making profit on the sale of drugs, may turn their customers in to the local authorities for a reward. Also keep in mind that trials are conducted in the host country language, lengthy delays are common, and punishment for possession or trafficking can be several years.
The US Consular Officers Abroad can ensure detainee’s rights under local law are fully observed. They may visit the detainee and provide a list of local attorneys, but they cannot in any way intervene in a foreign country’s court system.
It is also important to note that CAPA has a zero tolerance policy towards the use of illegal drugs. Should you be caught using, selling or possessing illegal drugs while on a CAPA program you will be dismissed from the program and required to vacate your housing.
Communication is always important.
Be sure to check-in regularly with family and friends at home in the US to let them know about your experiences abroad; however, balance is key. It is important to keep them informed, but at the same time be careful not to spend so much time on the Internet and making phone calls that you miss out on the incredible opportunities surrounding you.
In terms of phone accessibility, while some student residences do have landlines, it is not standard. If you are living with a host family, it may not be appropriate for you to use their telephone for outgoing calls, as even local calls are not free. Please review the household telephone rules with your host family upon arrival. You are, however, allowed to receive international calls at your house.
Before you leave home, you should investigate using a direct dialing system (offered by long distance companies such as AT&T) that will enable you to be charged less expensive rates for calls to the US. Internet cafes often have good deals on international calling, and students also use resources such as Skype on the Internet to place international calls for a small fee or no charge at all.
We strongly recommend that all students have a cell phone while abroad. Students will receive location specific information sheets advising upon Mobile Phone Options abroad, in their Pre-Departure Websites. Stay connected with a cell phone abroad. This sheet outlines the many mobile phone rental options abroad. Whether you would prefer to rent a cell phone prior to departure from the US, or purchase a pay as you go plan once you arrive overseas, it’s important that you explore your options. Make the decision that works best for your communication style and budget.
Alternatively, it might be an option to buy a cell phone with a cheap international pay as you go option once you arrive abroad; additionally there are other pre-purchase options available which you can research on the Internet. It is free to receive incoming calls on most mobile phones while in many countries, but be aware of roaming charges as well as the rates on outgoing international calls as these costs can build up quickly! Be sure to investigate thoroughly all charges and ensure you choose the option suitable to how you plan to use your phone (i.e. just to receive calls or to regularly use it to call friends).
Be sure to give your cell phone number or homestay number to family and friends so that they can call to learn about how your trip and arrival went; just make sure they are aware of the time difference and if they are calling you at a homestay, be sure they do not call later than 9:00 pm local time.
MyEducation offers intentionally defined pathways through the city: means of engaging with the urban environment in ways that are relevant to your studies and interests. The intention is to empower you to make specific connections between classroom theory and the world outside.
CAPA developed our MyEducation program to help you select cultural experiences that are relevant to your academic courses and personal learning goals abroad. Events, activities and reflective sessions are identified and designed around significant themes such as Community and People, Government and Power, Landscape and Time, Diversity and Identity, and Arts and Culture. Participation in these activities will help you develop an intelligent, well-rounded, and in-depth perspective on the global city where you are studying.
You will have the opportunity to choose from a range of activities with varying styles of presentation. This allows you to pick a session that speaks to you and your way of learning.
Some examples of MyEducation sessions offered in the past few months include:
- Walking Tour and Curry in Brick Lane, London
- Visiting a tea house in Beijing
- Cooking classes in Italy
- Wine tasting and vineyards tours in Sydney
- Tour of BBC Broadcasting House
- Attending the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London
How does it work?
Each CAPA center presents a MyEducation Calendar to all students and faculty. The MyEducation calendar is designed for you by local staff and faculty as a way of helping you get the most out of your time in your study abroad destination. MyEducation brings theory to life and offers a unique and valuable opportunity to make the most out of your time studying in another country.
MyEducation activities are either staff-led or self-directed. Every week, one item will be selected as the MyEducation Event of the Week, and further information will be given on this highlighted event in hand-outs and in a weekly email, delivered directly to your inbox!
Some CAPA professors integrate MyEducation activities into their courses and assessment, so that you may have an opportunity to reflect upon, write about and present your experiences. MyEducation is also an excellent way to develop areas of interest that may be extended into an application for the CAPA Record of Achievement.
What MyEducation events are currently being offered?
Check out this semester's MyEducation calendars:
The calendar for Istanbul will be available from Spring 2013.
What do students say about MyEducation?
“CAPA's MyEducation program is a great way to explore your city! With a little helpful guidance from people that know the city best, you can travel to some interesting places and participate in a lot of fun social activities. You meet great people, you see awesome things, and you learn more about the city you are studying in...what could be better?”
-Amanda Cecil, Lindsey Wilson College, London Summer 2011
“MyEducation programs made it easy to go places and see things without trying to figure out what to do on my own. It was great to be led on day trips and be able to see different places, and see things you might not even think to see on your own!”
-Sara Berthiaume, Emmanuel College, London Summer 2011
“With the CAPA MyEducation weekly visits I was able to visit so many sites. We were constantly on the go. . . . It is something anyone would have to experience in person to believe.”
-Sachelle Taylor, Chatham University, Beijing Summer 2011
“MyEducation provided me with opportunities to take advantage of my experience abroad. I was able to do things that were exciting, cheap, and fun. This program is an excellent resource that helps you really discover yourself and the city you're studying in.”
-Lindsey Forte, SUNY Oswego, Florence Spring 2011
“MyEducation is a great program offered through CAPA. It helped enhance my classroom learning by introducing me to some of the great culture London had to offer that I had learned about in class. It was a great way to explore the city while learning more and meeting some great people within the CAPA program.”
-Brooke Fine, Michigan State University, London Spring 2011
“The CAPA London MyEducation program provided more cultural experiences than could ever have been offered in a classroom. If it were not for CAPA’s desire for students to experience, through MyEducation programs, the fullest cultural experience they could, my time studying abroad in London would have not been complete.”
-Caitlin Harley, Ursinus College, London Spring 2011
When you go abroad with CAPA, you will learn about real people and real issues in the location where you live, work and study.
The Student Council serves to enhance the experience for students studying at any of CAPA’s program sites.
Acting as a liaison between the student body and the CAPA administrative staff, the council provides CAPA with valuable feedback on a range of topics relating to the overall student experience, including housing, academic courses and program activities. In addition, the Student Council work together and independently to plan, promote and manage a range of extra-curricular social engagement opportunities for their peers
Prior to departure, students are made aware of the student council and are given the opportunity to contact the on-site staff to express interest. Interested students are asked to write a brief statement of intention indicating their reasons for wanting to serve as a representative as well as any relevant skills that they may have including previous student government experience. Upon arrival in the host country, students are given a further opportunity to declare interest before a pre-set deadline (usually one week in to the program). After this point, the CAPA student support staff review submissions and determine which students will serve as councillors for the semester. One of the key objectives in the formulation of the Student Council is to establish a group of councillors that are broadly representative of the entire student body and the diversity that exists within it.
“There is a need to do justice to the full range of student experience by allowing a wider recognition of achievement.” The Burgess Report, October 2007, Universities UK.
The CAPA Record of Achievement is a record of individual students’ achievements in one or more co-curricular or extra-curricular areas of their study abroad experience outside of the classroom. Successful applicants will receive a certificate and accompanying letter. This ‘transcript supplement’ is a formal document, developed by CAPA International Education in response to recent European initiatives in academic accreditation.
Today’s graduates face an increasingly competitive academic and vocational environment. Study abroad offers a distinctive learning experience with unique advantages for future career prospects. The certificate and the accompanying letter will demonstrate achievement in one or more areas of the study abroad experience. It is a formal document which can be added to a resume and submitted in support of applications for further academic study, work experience or future job applications.
Students will be able to list it on their resume and submit it in support of applications for further academic study, work experience or future job applications. The Record highlights key areas of student attainment in study abroad such as:
- enriched knowledge and understanding of the host culture and society
- enhanced skills and experience of intercultural communication
- significant community initiative, engagement and involvement
- heightened professionalism in an international setting
The certificate and accompanying letter document self-directed projects in one or more areas of experiential learning in CAPA’s programs, including but not limited to:
- Participation in the MyEducation curriculum: students choose a MyEducation activity and, through active participation, explore its significance in shaping their understanding of the city where they’re living and studying
- Community Participation: students take part in a volunteer project or some other activity which impacts the local community in a significant way
- CAPA Program Development: students submit a creative, original and detailed proposal, drawing on field research, for future activities or projects for students at CAPA centres
- Cultural Engagement: students take part in an activity that has allowed them to meet a range of local people and work alongside them (e.g. starting a language group or sports club)
- Professional Development: this category recognises an outstanding achievement at the student’s internship which has enhanced their workplace and / or their own professional goals in a significant way. The achievement should show individual initiative to go above and beyond what has been asked or expected by the internship site.
- Students may nominate their own project, which must be discussed and approved by the Director of Academic Affairs in the program location.
In order to obtain the certificate, students will select one of the areas described above, or nominate their own project, and prepare a detailed written submission together with, as appropriate, testimonials, and other evidence (such as photos, online reports, and other media). The written submission should address the application questions. These questions are designed to summarize and evaluate the value of the activities undertaken and require students to describe them in detail and explain their acquired learning, as well as supply a variety of supporting evidence to justify their inclusion.
Completed entries must be received a minimum of two weeks before the closing date of the students’ CAPA programs, electronically and in hard copy. Applications will be assessed by the Director of Academic Affairs in the program location and a recommendation made to the CAPA President.
We welcome all applications for the certificate, but it is important to note that success is not automatic. All applications will be assessed carefully based on the quality of the written submission and accompanying evidence in support of the application. Applications must demonstrate that the student has gone above and beyond in their engagement with the city and the people in their CAPA program location, and that they have done so without compromising their course-work and internship commitments.
Successful applicants will be contacted individually and listed in the CAPA Monday Memo.
Note: Students must be on a semester or quarter program to apply.
What do past students say about the Record of Achievement?
"In regard to the CAPA record of Achievement, I believe this was something that I really enjoyed doing. I really enjoyed writing and looking back on an experience I had and think about it and get to share it. Also the broadness of what you could write about left it open for us to choose what we wanted to share about. Writing about something you enjoy and being recognized for it was very rewarding. I think this should continue to be offered to the students who go on the [program] because it is not mandatory but is something many students would be interested in doing."
- Cassandra Lavo, University of Buffalo
"I think the Record of Achievement is a good initiative. It made me evaluate my experience in yet another light and find even deeper appreciation."
- Megan Boehm, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
"When I set out to obtain the Record of Achievement, I did so purely for the benefit of adding this accreditation to my resume. However, upon completing the application I realized that the project of applying was beneficial to my study abroad experience because the application forced me to pause and reflect on my internship in a specialized way. The Learning through Internships course required consistent reflection throughout the semester, but the Record of Achievement gave me the opportunity to focus on one specific event, examining my professional and personal development within the span of the project.”
- Skyler Bean, Arizona State University
Shifting Back into your Home Culture
After studying abroad, your attitudes, perceptions and values will most likely change considerably. Though you may not realize it, getting on a plane and flying home does not end your international experience. When returning to your home country, you will have to re-adjust and shift to your home culture. Your family and friends may be supportive when you talk about your experiences, but don’t expect them to share in your new way of life and adapt as you have. Many people will not understand your international experiences and/or your enthusiasm for things “foreign.”
- Stay in contact with your host family and friends you made abroad. Write to them and send photos.
- Make a scrapbook of photos and mementos you collected while abroad.
- Create a slideshow with your photos so it is easy for friends and family to view them. Be careful not to show them too many or they will lose interest – filter them the down to just your favorites or ones that best document your experience.
- Journal about your experiences: what you learned, how you plan to use your new knowledge and any new learning goals you have set for yourself.
- Create a list of things you value from your home culture and your host culture. Brainstorm ways to live your values in your daily life.
- Seek out other students who have studied abroad at your university. Share photos, stories, and support one another.
- Attend lectures, films, cultural events that allow you to integrate your new interests into your life at home.
Make Use of Your International Experience
- Volunteer or help with events at your school’s multicultural center, study abroad office, or international student services.
- Encourage friends to study abroad.
- Befriend international students and help them have a wonderful experience studying abroad in your home country.
- Incorporate your new interests into your coursework; write research papers and give presentations on topics you learned about while abroad.
- Volunteer with immigrant groups or refugees. Listen to their experiences.
- Work on issues you encountered while abroad (biology, sustainability, literacy, the arts, etc).
- Make a list of hard and soft skills you gained abroad and incorporate them into your resume.
- Research careers abroad or careers that may involve an intercultural component in your home country.
Keep in Mind
- You will have learned a great deal abroad and will have a wealth of knowledge to share; however, be careful not to belittle those who have not had the same opportunity you have had. Instead invite them to local events or cook new foods you’ve learned to make abroad together. Sharing your experiences should be fun for everyone involved.
- Practice humility. Appreciate how much you’ve learned, but also realize how much more learning you can do. Seek out new opportunities and take advantage of them!
- Be sure to listen to your family and friends’ experiences over recent months even if they seem less exciting than your own. If you want them to be supportive of you, it is wise to return the favor and demonstrate genuine interest in their recent experiences too.
Becoming a CAPA Ambassador
Now that you have spent time abroad, come back to campus and promote your experience. As a Student Ambassador, you will work to promote study abroad, and especially the CAPA International Education study abroad programs, at your university (and possibly even neighboring universities). You will be responsible for leading a number of activities and reporting back throughout the semester on your progress.
How it Works
Ambassadors promote study abroad on campus through a variety of projects. The more projects completed in a semester, the more money you can earn. Plus the ambassador that completes the most projects in the next academic year will receive a five-night trip to London. We request a one-semester commitment from all Ambassadors. To help prepare you, there will be a training session with CAPA staff over the telephone.
Possible projects include:
• Attending campus study abroad fair
• Debriefing study abroad office on experience
• Organizing and leading information sessions
• Presenting in classrooms
• Tabling in the student union
• Writing about your experience in the campus newspaper
• Producing a video for YouTube
• Compiling photos of your experience for the CAPA Website
• Writing a testimonial about your time abroad
• Discussing your experience on the CAPA Facebook page
• Volunteering in the study abroad office
• Speaking at pre-departure orientations
• And more – feel free to be creative as you spread the word!
How to Join the Program
To learn more about becoming an ambassador when you return from your time abroad, please click here.