Most study abroad students say that their time abroad in college changed them for life.    How widespread and deep those changes are will vary for each person based on their experience and what type of a person they are.  Returning home after such a transformative experience can be bitter sweet.  They are of course so excited to be back with family and friends and all things familiar, but they can and may miss the adventure and excitement of daily life abroad.  It is helpful to understand this wide range of emotions and feelings that your student may be experiencing.  Your student has changed, and some of these changes will be obvious and others more subtle.  Be patient and take time to get reacquainted, acknowledging that you may not be able to help your student adjust.  It is just part of the process that will continue to evolve for years to come.

Students recognize this change in themselves and some feel a bit lost and down because they want the experience to continue.  Although they are no longer abroad, there a lot of things they can do to keep their experience alive.  Here are some suggestions:

Be an ambassador for their program.  Many institutions and programs, including Trinity, encourage returned study abroad students to spread the word about their program and  talk to prospective study abroad students.  Returned students LOVE to tell all their stories and prospective students learn a lot from them.

Get involved with international students on campus.  Trinity has a large international student body and many come from countries or regions where students have studied abroad.  Now that your child knows what it is like to be a foreigner, they can relate to the international students and help them to navigate a new place while staying connected to the new country and culture they have come to love.

Get involved with cultural groups in the community.  Hartford is home to many different ethnic groups which can offer a host of opportunities for cultural exchange.

Often students are interested in learning about opportunities to go abroad again after graduation​, either to study, work or volunteer.  The Trinity College Career Development Center is a great place to start and has a number of different resources including membership to the GoingGlobal website and database where students can search for jobs, study or volunteer opportunities available all over the world.  Another good resource is the Trinity College Director of Fellowships who can assist them with fellowship information and applications that can take them abroad after graduation.