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Return to Campus


For some students the return from abroad does not represent any major difficulties however, for others, it may present a multitude of challenges. Saying goodbye to people you were used to seeing on a daily basis, leaving the lifestyle developed abroad, and missing the sights, sounds, foods, etc. of the abroad location, may cause a true sense of loss. This is particularly hard if these feelings come as a surprise.

Just like studying abroad, the return to life in the U.S. and study at Swarthmore requires patience and resilience. When possible students should seek out other people with similar experiences and find ways to talk about their experiences and express their new interests. The Off-Campus Study Office staff are always happy to talk with returning students about their experiences and can be a resource for students interested in promoting study abroad. Should a student find that their adjustment back to life and studies at Swarthmore is interfering with their studies, personal health, relationships, or other aspects of their well being they should consider consulting with advisors and health professionals at Swarthmore.

Students are required to complete a written program evaluation that is submitted electronically. Typically students who study abroad in the spring receive the evaluation in August, and students who study abroad in the fall receive it over winter break. The evaluation must be completed prior to the program debriefing with the Faculty Adviser for Off-Campus Study – no exceptions.

All students have a required meeting with the Faculty Adviser for Off-Campus Study upon their return to Swarthmore College. The Faculty Advisor will review the abroad program with the student and discuss how students should document their academic work prior to submission to academic departments for the final course credit review.

Following their meetings with the Faculty Adviser students can submit their coursework to the appropriate academic departments for the final review of credit. Review Academic Credit for Study Abroad for more details.

Refer to this video tutorial for the online credit evaluation system: 

Each semester returning study abroad participants are invited to the Welcome Back Gathering. This is an opportunity to talk with other study abroad participants, reflect on the abroad experience, share stories, and learn about many ways to maximize the abroad experience while back on campus.

Fellowships and prizes are grants that are available to students and alumni to help fund independent travel and research abroad; funding for graduate school in the U.S. and overseas; and for professional internships. Many of these deadlines are early in the fall of the senior year. Students are encouraged to explore these options and work on their applications early.

Career Services provides a variety of programs and services that are useful for students returning from abroad. These include helping students to incorporate their experience into their resumes and providing information on working, volunteering, teaching, and internships abroad. Each year there are a variety of events on campus and in the greater mid-Atlantic area that may be of interest as students pursue information on international careers.

The Lang Center supports faculty, students, and staff interested in issues of social justice and social action with advice and guidance, space for meetings and events, transportation resources, as well as funding for entrepreneurial projects, non-profit social justice internships, and public scholarship curricular design. The Lang Center encourages faculty, staff, and students to be involved with surrounding communities both locally and globally, for mutual benefit and reciprocally enriching relationships. 

Opportunities Many students apply for summer research grants to pursue research abroad primarily during the summer between the junior and senior years. Students may submit proposals for field research, internships, archival research, creative arts, work in preparation or research leading to thesis preparation or honors preparation, faculty-student collaborative research, and independent research.  Under certain circumstances, students seeking special training and mentorship, or volunteer opportunities may qualify for a grant. Students must identify and work with a faculty sponsor as part of the application process. Check the current deadline: most recently the first draft of the proposal was required to be submitted to the faculty sponsor by the first week of February. (