On January 18, 2013 the Study Abroad Student Advisory Board (SASAB) of the Global Education Office at the Reves Center for International Studies hosted a pizza party for returning study abroad students at local establishment Brickhouse Tavern.
Approximately 38 students who studied abroad in the spring, summer or fall of 2012 attended. The pizza party allowed returning students to talk to others sharing similar experiences.
“I have heard from many students over the years that coming ‘home’ and returning to William & Mary was in many ways more difficult than going abroad,” explained Debi DeBacco, global education programs and services coordinator at the Reves Center. “We wanted to host a fun, social get together for the students who studied abroad and had just gotten back to campus to start the spring semester.”
“I attended the party because I had some friends that also went abroad and I wanted to see them,” explained Rebecca Silverstein ‘14 who studied in Argentina during the Fall 2012 semester.
“My freshman roommate also went abroad last spring and it was fun to catch up, hear about each other's experiences, and see how far we've come since freshman year.”
For Julia Brady ’14, who studied abroad in the Spring 2012 semester at University of St Andrews in Scotland, the chance to reminisce about the United Kingdom was a welcome treat.
“Some people I met had also been in the UK, or had even also been at St Andrews, where I had been, so it was fun comparing our experiences, and what we missed,” she explained.
SASAB member Chris Yake ’14 enjoyed attending the party as part of his advisory responsibilities, but also as a former study abroad student himself.
“Having studied abroad previously, before the pizza party event started, I feel like I would have really enjoyed getting to talk with students from my own program about my experiences.”
Programming for former study abroad students will continue throughout the Spring 2013 semester. The next event will be a “Translating Your Study Abroad Experience into Career Goals” workshop that will take place on February 12 at 1:30pm and again on February 18 at 4pm.
Students will be guided toward achieving their post-graduation goals by learning how to write about their study abroad experiences in job application documents, and how to discuss their experiences in interviews.
For further information about the Global Education Office programs designed for returning study abroad students, please contact Debi DeBacco. More information on all Global Education Office events may be found on the W&M Study Abroad Events calendar.