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Reverse Culture Shock
You may find that readjusting to life in the U.S. is more difficult than the adjustment you made to a new culture several months ago. If so, there are a number of resources that may be helpful as you make the adjustment to being back at "home." Here are a few:
- Returnee Challenges and Coping Strategies
- What's up with culture? Module 2
- Top 5 Things NOT To Do After Returning From Abroad
One of the best ways to work through reverse culture shock is to incorporate what you've learned abroad into your everyday life in Denver and live out your commitment to global citizenship. See the next section for some ideas of opportunities to be active in the international community on-campus and in the Denver area.
Get involved with the international community on campus
- Interact with international and exchange students at DU! Contact your OIE advisor to find out how to get involved.
- Connect with prospective study abroad students! The Office of International Education (OIE) holds many opportunities for you to contact with outgoing students. Our office will contact you by email (from firstname.lastname@example.org) when the following activities are near:
- Pre-departure Orientations - Tell outgoing students what you wish you knew before studying abroad and your stories!
- I-House Events – There are monthly (many of which offer free food) at the International House. These internationally themed events are designed to give domestic and international students a fun atmosphere in which to meet and share one another's culture.
- Continue or begin language studies
- Join or start a language club (Spanish, Italian, German, French, Chinese, and more). More information can be obtained by calling DU’s Office of Languages and Literatures at 303.871.2662 or 303.871.2180.
- Join an internationally-minded student group:
- International Student Organization: ISO works to promote internationalism at the University of Denver and in the Denver community. The group facilitates to increase diversity and international awareness through social activities and events such as the Festival of Nations.
- The Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning maintains a list of DU student organizations dedicated to public good and social change.
- Rotaract is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30. This Rotaract club as founded at the University of Denver and is sponsored by a local Rotary club making them true partners in service and key members of the Rotary family.
- Consider starting a new international group of your own design. For more information, see DU Student Life.
Get Involved with the Denver Community
The following is a list of organizations and events in the Denver area where you can get involved by attending, volunteering, interning, or even working.
- DU's Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning offers service opportunities with community partners in multiple issue areas, including human rights; immigration, refugee, and international issues; education; poverty, homelessness, and affordable housing; and gender issues. Search DU Something: Volunteer for opportunities to get involved.
- Teach English as a second language (ESL) classes on campus to DU employees through Intercambio de Comunidades.
- Mi Casa Denver works towards increasing the self-sufficiency of low-income Latinas and youth. The website provides a complete list of volunteer opportunities as well as a list of needed items for possible donation.
- The Museo de Las Americas is a museum meant to educate the public about Latino Americano art and culture.
- Project CURE provides medical supplies to countries in need. Volunteers will do a variety of tasks, ranging from the search for and collection of supplies to sorting and sending those supplies to various countries.
- The African Community Center of Denver welcomes newcomers who have had to flee persecution within their home country.
- Denver Sister Cities International works towards promoting peace through the mutual understanding that comes with the immersion of different cultures. Through DSCI, Denver is connected to many international cities, her “sister cities." Activities may include presenting information on a city to elementary schools, planning and implementing pen pal exchange programs, or fundraising.
- The Colorado Refugee English as a Second Language Program (CRESL) serves adult refugees who have recently resettled in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs.
- Alliance Française de Denver works to educate the Denver community on the French language and culture.
- The Denver Bulldogs is an Australian Rules Football Club based in Denver and actively recruits new members.
- The Denver World Affairs Council (DWAC) offers the chance for the public to ask questions of world affairs experts.
- The Conference on World Affairs at CU-Boulder is a conference which hosts hundreds of forums about every conceivable topic, ranging from international issues to art. Attendees have the opportunity to choose which forums they would like to attend, and they sit in on debates for those forums which are usually followed by an interactive discussion between the debaters and the audience.
Go Abroad Again
Has your study abroad experience left you eager for another international experience? There are several ways for you to go abroad again.
More opportunities to study internationally as a DU Student:
The Office of Special Programs offers a handful of interterm courses that involve a travel component. For their current list of offerings, see here.
Several departments have their own programs that take place during the interterms. Contact your major advisor to see if there are any such programs in their department.
Graduate Studies Abroad:
Considering graduate studies? Have you ever thought about getting an entire graduate degree abroad? Several universities around the world welcome international students for graduate degrees. Many of them do not require a placement exam like the GRE or GMAT and offer one-year masters degree programs. Best of all, many of these universities have more reasonable tuition fees than you will find in the US, yet with a comparable quality of education. It is also possible to apply US Federal Financial Aid towards your studies at recognized institutions. Certain countries, like the United Kingdom, will give you a 1- or 2-year work visa upon completion of an advanced degree in their country. To learn more, visit the following websites:
- Germany (programs in English)
- Advice on studies in Australia or New Zealand
- Guidance on programs worldwide
For International Careers Abroad:
- Career Services at the University of Denver
- Career opportunities through the U.S. State Department
Short-Term Work and Volunteerism Abroad*:
- The United States Peace Corps - Peace Corps
- The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program is a well respected program that places recent college graduates in Japanese primary schools to teach English - JET
- The US State Department - Short-term work opportunities
- International Internship Directory
- Internships in Germany (often there is no language prerequisite)
- Cultural Vistas offers internships and other immersion experiences in Germany, Argentina, and India
- BUNAC – Work or volunteer abroad in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere
- The Mountbatten Institute offers internships and graduate programs abroad.
- AIESEC offers international paid internship programs worldwide
- Bridge-Linguatec – Teach English or volunteer abroad
- Comprehensive search engines on short term opportunities abroad:
- Organizations that offer a variety of short-term and volunteer work overseas
- STA World Travel Internship
- Academic Internships through EUSA
- Work in tourism and resort management
*Although the University of Denver has listed these websites here, their presence on our website is not an official endorsement or recommendation of these institutions. These are here only for ideas.