What to expect after you return from your study abroad or exchange program

Your experience overseas will have been challenging and rewarding. You may have new perspectives on issues. When you return home, you may expect that you will easily slip back into the routines and friendships you had when you left. You will no doubt be excited to talk about your experience with family and friends.  

But returning home can create a sort of culture shock that is similar to when you left the Canada. You will have changed during your time abroad, yet your friends and family may not have changed as dramatically, and are not prepared for the “new” you. 

Friends and family may initially be interested to hear about your time away but may only want to listen for a few minutes before changing the topic to something that is common to both of you. You will also miss your friends and way of life abroad. "Reverse culture shock” is a normal part of coming home.
Tips for a successful re-entry to Canadian life
You can make the transition easier by keeping in mind that reverse culture shock is a normal part of an international experience and that your situation is temporary. There are several ways to help yourself get through the transition of returning home:

  • Make a plan of how you are going to put your international experience to use
  • Talk to your professors about integrating your experience with your course work
  • Use the stress management skills you developed while away to help you cope with this temporary stress
  • Meet international students at coffee breaks scheduled at various times during the semester
  • Join a re-entry discussion group to meet others who are going through the same experience
  • Work with students who are thinking about going abroad. Every year the International Centre has positions open for people with work/study. Returned students are also needed for information tables and program orientations.
  • Create a special project (like a party for returned students or making a videotape.) Tell us what you would like to do!

Transferring credits (for exchange students only) 
If you are going on an exchange to a partner university, you must request that an original copy of your transcript be sent to Mount Allison when you have completed your studies at your host university. Transcripts should be sent to the International Centre. 
IMPORTANT: Do not get transcripts sent to your personal mailbox. The registrar’s office does not accept transcripts that have been opened by students. 

Once the registrar's office receives your official transcript from your exchange studies, they will use your form 1-E, and form 1-F and transfer the credits to your Mount Allison account. Transfer credits will appear at the top of your transcript and can be viewed online through CONNECT@MTA.

Where will my transfer credits appear on the Mount Allison transcript?

Courses from abroad will be listed on your Mount Allison transcript as exchange transfer courses at the beginning of your degree audit. They will show up as pass/fail credits with no evaluation attached to them. They DO NOT appear under the term you were abroad.

Remember that we want to hear how your trip was! Please plan to stop by the International Centre when you return to let us know about your experience!