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Re-entry Programming: Challenges and Opportunities Beth West Coordinadora / EducationUSA Adviser Centro Consejeria Educativa – Fulbright Colombia WHA Regional.

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Presentation on theme: "Re-entry Programming: Challenges and Opportunities Beth West Coordinadora / EducationUSA Adviser Centro Consejeria Educativa – Fulbright Colombia WHA Regional."— Presentation transcript:

1 Re-entry Programming: Challenges and Opportunities Beth West Coordinadora / EducationUSA Adviser Centro Consejeria Educativa – Fulbright Colombia WHA Regional Training Conference – Mexico City 2 de Octubre, 2009

2 Agenda for Presentation Defining re-entry Theories and stages of re-entry Re-entry program model: OPERACIÓN RETORNO, Fulbright Colombia Suggested re-entry programming and samples for your EducationUSA office Getting re-entry program up and running Additional resources

3 What is… re-entry ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

4 Re-entry is… Many things! A pattern of change of highs and lows A period of adjustment and readjustment The term used to describe the period of adjustment that occurs when you return home after living abroad Source: Denney and Eckert

5 Isnt re-entry just… coming home? Whats so tough about THAT??? Assumptions about returning home Re-entry is normal Who is affected by re-entry?

6 Former grantee testimonies I had not been expecting all of this internal upheaval! I had expected to be home and feel at home, but I had changed and was a different me – a more complex me (I now see) and a me that I have been ever since. At home, your standards and expectations are higher for the degree to which you belong to a place and culture. In retrospect, I learned from this bumpy return that such belonging is not automatic. It takes the same conscious effort, investment and initiative that we all employed when arriving in our host country for our Fulbright.

7 And theories! The U-curve of Cultural Adaptation Lysgaard (1955)

8 And more theories! The U-curve Lysgaard (1955) The W-curve Martin and Harrell (1994)

9 Stages of re-entry of the W-curve (Leave Taking, Departure and Arrival) The Honeymoon Reverse Culture Shock Readjustment

10 The W-Curve of Cultural Adaptation Source: University of the Pacific, Whats up with Culture? http://www.pacific.edu/sis/culture/

11 And more theories! LOTS of theories! The U-curve Lysgaard (1955) The W-curve Martin and Harrell (1994) Expectation theories Weissman and Furnham (1987) & Martin and Harrell (1996) As cited in Weber (2009)

12 Not just reverse culture shock… other factors to consider Professional adjustments Linguistic adjustments National/Political adjustments Educational adjustments Technology differences Financial concerns Issues affecting the accompanying spouse and children Adapted from Marsh, p.34 (1975)

13 Linguistic adjustments Testimonial from a U.S. grantee Often words would come to me in Spanish before English; I actually had to sit down a few times and practice saying all the (Spanish) names of streets in San Francisco with an American accent so that people wouldnt think I was putting on airs with my pronunciation.

14 Not just reverse culture shock… other factors to consider Professional adjustments Linguistic adjustments National/Political adjustments Educational adjustments Technology differences Financial concerns Issues affecting the accompanying spouse and children Adapted from Marsh, p.34 (1975)

15 Gosh…Re-entry sounds AWFUL!

16 But it doesnt have to be! And the challenges certainly dont outweigh the benefits!

17 A Re-entry Program Model Fulbright Colombias OPERACIÓN RETORNO Began with the founding of Comunidad Fulbright Colombia Seeks to provide support to returning grantees in three main areas 1) Psycho-social/Emotional Support 2) Professional Development and Reintegration 3) Foster Civic Engagement … build social capital!

18 OPERACIÓN RETORNO: Key Program Components Networking Nights Return Mentoring Program Operacion E-Recursos Professional Development Workshops Emotional Support Resource lists Personalized Re-entry plans (pilot program) Re-Entry Breakfast Civic Engagement Initiative

19 OPERACIÓN RETORNO Civic Engagement Element Perfect complement to the Fulbright mission Future leaders Implement knowledge at home An opportunity to build social capital! Social Capital is the attitude, spirit and willingness of people to engage in collective, civic activities. Social capital builds social infrastructure; people's commitment to build on existing strengths within the community, to address problems and react to potential opportunities.

20 Your mission, should you choose to accept, is…. to figure out…

21 What can you, as an EducationUSA Adviser, do to help returning students manage the process of re-entry?

22 As an adviser, you can… Show interest Provide opportunities for returnees to use their new skills and knowledge Dont feel threatened or offended by criticism or comparison Be patient and avoid making judgement Encourage your advisees to be patient… it takes time Check in from time to time Adapted from What Others Can Do, Craig Storti, The Art of Coming Home, p.89, 2003.

23 What kinds of events and activities can my EducationUSA Center offer to help returning students manage the process of re-entry? …and when should they begin? (psst... and what if we dont have any budget either?)

24 Overall goal is to help returning students 1) manage their expectations and 2) take inventory of their new skills

25 Suggested Timeline for Re-entry Programming Pre-reentry Re-entry Post Re-entry 3-6mos before Return 3-6mos after Beyond

26 Re-entry Strategies for Students Preparing to Return (3-6 months before return) Communicate with students BEFORE their return (email, 2x a year free Survey Monkey census etc.) E-recursos and online self-evaluation / reflection exercises Alumni associations (or via www.alumni.state.gov) Mentor program if available GOAL = HELP STUDENTS MANAGE EXPECTATIONS!!!

27 A Thoughtful Return Reflection Exercise 1.In what ways have I changed? 2.In what ways might my friends and family have changed? 3.In what ways might my country and local community have changed? 4.What am I looking forward to the most? The least? 5.What challenges do I anticipate personally? Professionally? 6.What are some skills that I have learned? 7.What elements / values of my host culture do I wish to take with me? 8.Many say that re-entry shock is more challenging than intial culture shock. What are some things I might do to make the transition easier? Adapted from Maximizing Study Abroad, University of Minnesota

28 Preparing to Return Home: 10 Quick Tips Handout (sample) 1.Prepare for the adjustment process 2.Allow yourself time 3.Understand that the familiar will seem different 4.There will be much cultural catchup to do 5.Reserve judgements 6.Respond thoughtfully and slowly 7.Cultivate sensitivity 8.Beware of comparisons 9.Remain Flexible 10.Seek Support Networks Source: Aspire Newsletter, Spring 1994

29 On site programming ideas (First 6 months of return) Brown bag lunch + speakers Photo exhibit Resume updating workshops Debriefing / networking nights / re-entry breakfast etc. Virtual events

30 No exact formula! Talk to students who have returned to find out what they would have liked Look to other EducationUSA Centers and even study abroad programs for ideas Try a variety of low to no cost activities Be ever aware of ACCESS issues

31 Activities and programming that supports social-emotional needs and helps them identify New academic compentencies New professional competencies Country (or regionally) specific skills / knowledge / expertise Language skills And dont forget personal growth and exploration!

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33 Proposing your re-entry plan… What about the office naysayer? You know the type…

34 Be prepared!

35 Just remember these points…

36 Welcoming back isnt a frill, but essential …to validate the returnee and reaffirm the organizations commitment to those it sends abroad* Re-entry program = a greater return on the investment, for the student, the home community AND your organization LaBrack, 1993 as quoted in Storti, 2003

37 Possible Funding / Support for your re-entry programming ECA/State Department Grants (ex. Building the Fulbright Future) Alumni.state.gov The Foundation Center www.foundationcenter.orgwww.foundationcenter.org Graduate Interns! (recruit on www.idealist.org or directly to universities, see EdUSA Advisers resource page for more ideas on this)www.idealist.org

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42 E-Recursos on Re-entry Whats up with Culture Modules http://www.pacific.edu/sis/culture/ Middlebury College http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/ump/sap/reentry/ resources.htm http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/ump/sap/reentry/ resources.htm LASPAU http://www.laspau.harvard.edu/grantee_guide/fulbright/r eentry.htm http://www.laspau.harvard.edu/grantee_guide/fulbright/r eentry.htm Fulbright Colombia www.fulbright.edu.cowww.fulbright.edu.co

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44 LASPAU

45 Helpful print resources The Art of Coming Home, Craig Storti Counseling International Students: Clients from Around the World, Nancy Marie Arthur

46 Thank you for being here! Feel free to contact me with any questions! Beth West, Centro de Consejería Educativa Fulbright Colombia Calle 37 No. 15-73 Bogotá http://www.fulbright.edu.co Phone: (57 1)232-4326 Ext.15 Fax:(57 1)287-3520 bwest@fulbright.edu.co http://www.fulbright.edu.co bwest@fulbright.edu.co


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