Search for ways that you can utilize your global experience upon returning to campus. Examples of ways to continue or build upon your skills and experience include

  • Taking courses to further your fluency in a newly acquired language;
  • Getting involved in a globally-oriented campus organization or local non-profit; and
  • Looking for a global internship or job.

It is very likely that your global experience will come up in your future applications, whether it’s for graduate school applications or job applications. Start to develop the habit of reflecting on your global experience. This could take the form of a WordPress blog, a private journal, or social media posts. Upon returning home, immediately take time to write and reflect on the “big picture” effects of your time abroad. Not only can this be a fun way to record memories, these writings can function as an accessible database to consult when working on future applications.

UNC offers courses in more than 20 languages. You may decide to take language courses beyond the requirement after spending time abroad, and if the language is a less commonly taught language (which excludes Spanish, French and German), you can consider applying for a funded opportunity like the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship or Critical Language Scholarship to further develop your language skills.

You may also want to practice your skills conversationally outside of the classroom. Consider joining a Speaking Group at the UNC Writing Center in which you can help international students practice English, and in turn, you may find a partner willing to help you practice a foreign language.

There is a fantastic list of local organizations (compiled by the Latino Migration Project) that work with the local Latinx community as well as a two-pager of local global resources compiled for Carolina students (beyond just working with the Latinx community). You can also consider applying for the International Friendship Program, which matches a local student or community member with an international student.

You can also explore Heel Life, a database of campus groups and events, to help you capitalize on your time abroad and to help you get re-integrated into the UNC community. Additionally, talk to your academic adviser(s) upon returning to update them on your experience. There may be courses available that can then help you continue to make connections between your experience abroad and your academic interests.

UNC Career Services offers an online database specifically for students interested in global jobs and internships. Going Global provides country/area guides, H1B visa information, an employer directory and global job/internship postings. They also have career advising and counseling appointments where you can find ways to ensure that you are making the most of your global experience in your resume, cover letter and interview.