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Coming Home

Welcome Back!

Photos & Feedback
Understanding Re-entry
Peer Advising
Student Ambassadors

This page is full of resources and ideas for the returning study abroad student!

Photos & Feedback

We collect photos and writings for our website, blog, and many promotional purposes. If you have any pictures that you would like us to include with your name, please send by e-mail as attachments. As a Study Abroad Ambassador (recipient of an OSA Grant or Scholarship), you can send us 30 photos for the equivalent of 1 hour of service.

Would you like to be featured in a Q&A on our blog? Just ask!


You should have your transcripts sent to:
Eastern Illinois University
Office of Study Abroad
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920

PLEASE NOTE: Until we receive a transcript from your study abroad program, you will not receive credit. Please allow at least eight weeks after your program has ended before you call our office to ask if your transcript has been received.

Please be advised that foreign countries may have different education systems, including grades and course credit. 
In Ecuador, when registering you will see that each course is worth 4 credits. Please take note that the 4 credit system is only for internal purposes (Ecuadorian students only) to comply with a new disposition of the National University Council; therefore, you will still have 3 hours per week of class and will receive a transcript with 3 credit courses, except for sports and lab classes that are worth “0” credits.

Understanding Re-entry

Coming home can be a challenging experience for study abroad participants; feelings of anxiety begin well before the day you actually return to the USA. It is another adjustment to make which involves many conflicting feelings and which will require time and understanding by you, your friends, and your family. This last adjustment process, known as "reverse culture shock," is sometimes worse than the original culture shock you experienced when first entering your host culture. Upon return home you won't be experiencing that wealth of newness and feeling of adventure like you did when you first arrived overseas.

While preparing to return home, you may be very excited to see your family and friends. At the same time, you will probably be upset to leave your new found home and friends. You will probably only then realize how close you've grown to your friends and/or host family. You will realize that life has gone on without you back home, but that it was not nearly as exciting or adventuresome as your time was overseas.

Your return home may also be as uncomfortable for your friends and family as it is for you. Give them time to re-learn you and take the time to re-learn them.  After all, you've all changed! You may use words that are unfamiliar, feel insecure away from your surrogate family and friends, feel superior for what you have accomplished and learned, experience a shift in political ideas, have difficulty communicating what you have learned, and experience identity issues as you try to fit back into life at home.

Learn more about how to adjust when coming back home.

STA4000G: Study Abroad Capstone

This is a great way to get integrated back into the EIU community and speak with your peers about your study abroad experience .. for credit!
  • Starting in Fall 2013, students can take this 1 credit hour course to fulfill their senior-seminar requirement, after completing a successful study abroad experience and 75 semester hours. Students should be mindful of the number of credits they need to fulfill graduation requirements. 
  • In STA4000G, students will exercise their abilities to think critically about their global education experiences. They will develop, summarize, and synthesize their individualized experience through readings, assignments, a reflective piece that may be submitted to the Electronic Writing Portfolio, an individualized project and a presentation. 
  • STA4000G meets for 15 weeks, 1 day a week, for 50 minutes.
Why take STA4000G? Watch the video below to learn more!

Work for OSA: Peer Advising

Who is a Peer Advisor? They are returning students who have studied abroad with Eastern, and are looking to share their excitement about study abroad with other students. This is a paid position which can be staffed by undergraduate or graduate students. For more information on how to apply, contact the office at

We also have Graduate Assistants. A strong preference is given to students who have studied abroad previously. Graduate Assistantships are managed by the Graduate School. For more information Click Here!

Student Ambassadors

Students who receive a grant or scholarship award from the Office of Study Abroad are required to serve as a Study Abroad Ambassador for the semester or academic year directly after they complete their study abroad program. Study Abroad Ambassadors assist and mentor other students through a minimum of four hours of service. If you do not complete the four hours of service within a semester of returning, a registration and transcript hold will be placed on your account, which will prevent you from registering for classes. If you will graduate or otherwise move off campus the semester following your return, you may still accept the scholarship, but please see Bailey Mitchell ( immediately in the Office of Study Abroad for information regarding how you can complete the service requirement before you study abroad.

Student Ambassador Opportunity Guide

The best way to earn Ambassador Credit is to check your email regularly! Opportunities will be sent out via email whenever one arises. They are always on a first come first served basis, so make sure to reply if you would like to sign up. A reply email will be sent by a staff member to confirm the commitment. Finally, make sure to bring your Ambassador Log so that an OSA staff member or professor can verify that you participated or completed the opportunity. When the four hours are complete, return the completed log to the Study Abroad Office.

*Online sign-ups will be available!

Earn 60 Minutes
  • Classroom presentation: Along with an OSA staff member, assist in giving a presentation
  • Pictures: Submit twenty pictures to You will not receive additional credit for submitting more than twenty photos.
  • Flyers: Hang up flyers for upcoming events around campus. Come by the study abroad office to pick up materials, and then plaster them around EIU
  • Bulletin Board: With the assistance of an OSA staff member, help prepare, assemble, or take down a bulletin board
  • Promote: Volunteer to be a part of a promotional study abroad video
  • Table in the Union or assist in an informational meeting
  • Attend a Study Abroad Society meeting or event
Earn more than 60 Minutes
  • Blog: While you are overseas, or within a month or so after you have returned home, complete a blog which may be posted on the OSA website
  • Create a short video of your time abroad. Remember this video may be posted on the OSA website or used as a presentation tool or visual aid
  • Anytime your Ambassador opportunity runs over one hour or you sign up before hand for a longer shift
  • You can earn multiple hours volunteering at our Fall 2019 fair on September 18th. Contact to sign up for a shift in advance. 

*Remember, as a condition of your contract, you must complete all four hours.* If you fail to do so, the grant or scholarship you received will be billed to your student account. In the event that this occurs, EIU may also withhold your diploma until the payment is fulfilled. 

For other questions or more information contact:
Bailey Mitchell, Study Abroad Peer Advisor 
(217) 581-7355


Depending on your interest and schedule, there are many ways to get involved:
  • Attending events for returning students like the Welcome Back party
  • Study Abroad Fair (mid-September, annually)
  • Participating on panels and in classroom presentations
  • Make a video, flyer or poster about your experience
  • Got another idea? Let us know! 
Other Resources: