Carnegie Mellon University

Returning Home

Returning home from studying abroad can often require as much adjustment as the study abroad experience itself.  Readjusting to life and classes at Carnegie Mellon can also take time.  However, the self-discovery and skills students gain while studying abroad can provide a foundation for new and exciting interest exploration at Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh.  The Office of International Education, your academic advisor and department can be strong assets in that exploration.

Carnegie Mellon is a university environment that thrives on contributions from its global citizens.  Study Abroad enables students to return to Carnegie Mellon and share their unique experiences and developed global consciousness with the entire community.  We welcome the sharing of knowledge of global issues and international perspectives and enriching cultural experiences.

There are many meaningful opportunities for students to share their experiences abroad with the Carnegie Mellon community once they return. We welcome sharing knowledge about global issues and international perspectives and enriching cultural experiences.

Listed below are some existing opportunities on campus.  OIE welcomes input at any time with regard to returned student services and opportunities.

Thank you in advance for your contributions. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at events.

Coming home is part of the complete study abroad cycle. There is more for students to consider beyond the bare logistics of the move. Returning students know the language, the ways to get things done and, most likely, they will be returning to family, friends, and a familiar setting. What they may not be aware of is the degree to which they have been changed by the experience and now carry a whole new load of cultural baggage. In addition, during their absences, changes have taken place in the United States — rapid and sometimes radical changes — and reading about them isn’t the same as experiencing them. Some students experience re-entry shock. Learn more below:

Students should arrange to have all transcripts sent to the OIE. The study abroad staff will email students when the transcript has arrived and offer them the opportunity to pick up a copy in the office. A copy of the transcript is also sent to all relevant academic departments for credit assessment, and the original is sent to Enrollment Services. Students can seek a copy from The HUB after this process is complete. OIE does not keep any copies of student transcripts.

All students complete a Study Abroad Transfer of Credit (SATC) before they leave for study abroad, which includes approvals for courses. Often the courses a student actually take will differ from what was approved before they went abroad due to changes in university course offerings, personal decisions and scheduling issues. These courses can be approved from abroad via the Follow-up SATC, which is sent to student early in the semester abroad. Some departments have additional internal processes upon a students return.

Study abroad credit appears at the top of a students Carnegie Mellon transcript in the section allotted to transfer credit. It will not appear in the semester that the student was abroad. Students receive credit for courses provided that the grade in the course abroad is a U.S. equivalent "C" or higher ( U.S. equivalent "B" or higher for Tepper courses).

Students should be proactive in making sure their advisor has the information they need to assess the credit. It is essential for students to follow-up with their academic departments to make sure the credit has been assessed.

Note: It can sometimes take a few months for foreign institutions or  study abroad programs to send the final official transcript.

Once students return from an experience studying, working or doing research abroad, they often look for opportunities to return overseas. There are many opportunities for recent graduates to go abroad again to work and study. Graduates can seek out scholarships and fellowships that focus on an international experience such as the Fulbright, volunteer opportunities such as Peace Corps, or employment abroad. It is a good idea to start exploring these options during the junior year because many of the applications are due during the senior year.

The Fellowships and Scholarships Office (FSO) offers advising to Carnegie Mellon students and alumna on many prestigious scholarships that aim to send post-graduates abroad, most notably the Fulbright. Fulbright is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide.

The Peace Corps offers a 2-year volunteer opportunity in development in many different countries around the world. Peace Corps volunteers work on issues ranging from AIDS education to information technology and environmental preservation.

Whether for short term employment or for students seeking to establish a career abroad, there are a variety of opportunities to work abroad. Skills gained from working abroad include:

  • International contacts in professional fields
  • Foreign language skills
  • Marketability
  • New skills and technologies
  • Personal and intellectual growth
  • Cross cultural skills and understanding

There are many opportunities to work abroad ranging from short-term work abroad, such as teaching through programs such as The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET), or volunteering through a variety of organizations. Students seeking longer term work abroad or seeking to move permanently overseas must conduct a comprehensive job search. Often is it easier for US citizens to find employment with a US company that has branches abroad. It is always important to be informed of all of the immigration issues when committing to work in another country.

A good resource for all types of work abroad is the book, Work Abroad: A Complete Guide to Finding a Job Overseas, published by Transitions Abroad (http://www.transitionsabroad.com/).