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Returning to Canada

Re-entry phase of your exchange experience


Coming back to Canada, and Dalhousie, can be a difficult process! We call this the “re-entry” phase of your experience.

This can be different for everyone, and many people will find it to be surprisingly challenging. You've grown, changed perspective, learned about yourself, learned new skills, and made new connections. You've seen and experienced things your family and friends back home have not, and you may feel alienated or alone. You may have ups and downs. One day you're excited about sharing and the next you may feel bored, frustrated, or out of step in your old relationships.

We encourage you to think optimistically about how you'll integrate those new facets of your skills and experience into your life back in Canada. Open new doors by volunteering, taking workshops and certificate programs, and joining societies that can help you process and develop all that you've gained from your experience.

Fight the tendency to compartmentalize the exchange experience into a short piece of your undergraduate degree! Instead, use that exchange experience to propel you to new and interesting opportunities. There are people out there who are interested in meeting you, learning about you and your experience, and have things to share with you. Now is a great time to connect with the international community.

Here are a few strategies to help with your re-entry

Strategy one: Fill out the re-entry survey

Questions in this survey will give you a chance to provide feedback on your exchange placement and to process some of your experiences.

Click here to answer the survey now

Strategy two: Attend our re-entry reception

Meet other returnees and share some of your insights! Bring some of your pictures to the event.

We'll invite all returnees through our Facebook group. If you're not currently a member of the group, please send a friend request to XchangeHq.

Strategy three: Attend the re-entry workshops and meet other exchange alumni

The International Centre will be arranging workshops for returning students to help you distill some of the things you have gained from your experience. Topics may include:

  • Intercultural Communication
  • Unpacking your Exchange Experience
  • Intercultural Development Inventory
  • Highlighting your International Experience for Career Purposes

We'll invite all returnees through our Facebook group. If you're not currently a member of the group, please send a friend request to XchangeHq.

Strategy four: Enrol in the Intercultural Communications Certificate

Why not formalize some of the learning you gained by going abroad? Find out how to use your exchange toward a certificate program.

Strategy five: Volunteer

A great way to re-integrate at Dalhousie is to cultivate your ties to the international community at home.

Your experience and expertise is in high demand. The International Centre could use your assistance with:

  • Mentoring students who are just beginning to wonder about exchanges
  • Students who have just been nominated to go abroad
  • International exchange students who are about to arrive in Halifax with the same concerns you had when you first landed in your host city
  • International students who are about to start a new life here at Dalhousie

Use your new wisdom to help other students have a positive international experience while gaining formal recognition on your co-curricular record! Volunteering is a fantastic opportunity.

Apply to volunteer with us today!