Conference to help students reflect on their study abroad

Publication Date
Study Abroad

“It's so inspiring to see that our experiences are valuable to our future experiences, education and careers… this is a great opportunity to meet people who have similar experiences and look beyond graduation.”

These are among the comments from students who attended last year’s EVOLVE: The Conference for Study Abroad Returnees.

EVOLVE is a collaborative effort among the international programs offices of Union, the University at Albany, Siena College, Skidmore College, the College of Saint Rose, Marist College, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY New Paltz and Hartwick College.

Union will host the fourth annual conference Nov. 2 at College Park Hall.

The free daylong event is an opportunity for students who have returned from a study abroad program to join other returnees from the Capital Region and beyond for a day of panel discussions, networking and workshops dedicated to helping them refocus the lens through which they view their international experience.

“EVOLVE is an opportunity for students, faculty and international education administrators to exchange ideas about the impact of study abroad on our personal development and professional careers now and in the future,” says Lara Atkins, International Programs director.

“When students return home from a study abroad program, they can expect to go through a range of emotions and feelings.”

Whether learning the language in France or conducting field research in Australia, it’s important that students have outlets for processing, understanding and sharing their journey, Atkins notes.

“It’s great that they can continue to learn from their international experience, which is usually among the most powerful of their time in college.”

There will be sessions on scholarships and fellowships, and translating terms abroad experiences into marketable skills in an increasingly global workplace, as well as “mini-TED talks” by students. The guest speaker is Willis Wang, vice president and associate provost for Global Programs at Boston University.