The re-entry phase occurs when you return to your homeland. For some, this can be the most painful phase of all. You will be excited about sharing your experiences, and you will realize that you have changed, although you may not be able to explain how. One set of values has long been instilled in you, another you have acquired in the host country. Both may seem equally valid.
There are a number of things that you can do to help with your transition back to college and living at home. One of the most important things to do is keep in touch with your fellow NanoJapan students. They will all likely be experiencing similar transitions back into life at home. It is also important to remain in contact with your fellow participants as they are your academic and professional peers and it may be likely that you will work collaboratively together again one day as researchers, academics, or professionals.
Also be sure to contact your campus study abroad or international programs office to see if they offer any program or reception for returning study abroad students. This would be a great opportunity to connect with other students at your university who have recently returned from studying abroad.
One key aspect of our NanoJapan Re-Entry Seminar is a session on "Marketing Your International Experience". In an increasingly competitive and globalized world employers are actively seeking cross-cultural competencies in addition to domain-knowledge and prior work experience. And, as stated by NSF Director, Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr. "International cooperation in science is not a luxury; it is a necessity – and the foundation for the future.”
As a NanoJapan alumnus you should think about the ways that you can highlight the academic, research, and cross-cultural skills you obtained through this program to future employers or graduate schools such as:
Transitions Abroad has an excellent article on Marketing Study Abroad: How to Sell Your Experience to Potential Employersand Abroad View magazine has also posted an excellent article on "Packaging Your International Experience" that also provides some helpful ideas on making the most of your international experience.
In addition to topical research articles there are also a wide range of other newsletters, websites, and journals that you could submit an article to. These typically would focus more on the international aspects of your NanoJapan experience but can still closely integrate the cross-cultural experiences and lessons you learned while working in your research lab. Some opportunities include:
ssociation of Physics Students Meetings
We hope that NanoJapan participants will return to their home campus and community and be ambassadors for the NanoJapan program and international engineering education in general. No one can speak more eloquently about the NanoJapan program than our student participants and there are likely a range of opportunities available on campus or in your community to give a presentation on NanoJapan. These can range from brief informal overviews of this program to formal campus or community events.
We strongly encourage you consider visiting or becoming involved in high-school or middle-school outreach programs as well. Hearing about your experience in Japan may be just the incentive these students need to pursue math and science coursework and consider becoming an engineering or physics major in college.
If you do give a presentation on your NanoJapan experience please let us know and send photos so we can highlight your outreach on our website and in our annual report to the National Science Foundation. We would also be happy to email you a flyer that you can print out to distribute at your event.
Some possibilities include:
Having completed the NanoJapan program you likely are eager to pursue other international opportunities. We strongly encourage and support NanoJapan alumni participation in related international opportunities worldwide.
A wide range of opportunities can be found on our Related International Programs page and your campus study abroad office can provide more information on opportunities available at your school. If you would like a recommendation letter or letter of support for your application to a related program please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are selected to participate in any other international program please let us know so we can highlight your experience on our website and in our annual report to the National Science Foundation.
There are also a wide range of competitive fellowships and scholarships that you may consider applying to that could provide you with support for the remainder of your undergraduate career or graduate student. For more information contact your campus Office of Fellowships & Scholarships or view some of the opportunities listed on ourRelated International Programs page.
Just a few examples of nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships received by NanoJapan alumni and graduate students include the following. For more on these programs and students see our Student Achievements page.
You may also have the opportunity to host visiting students, researchers or other international students at your university or in your local community. This is not only a great way to 'give back' but can also help you further develop and hone your cross-cultural skills. Check with your university's Office of International Students to see if there are any incoming visiting students or researchers from Japan or other nations that you could be matched with and help show around your university or town.
In addition to opportunities to host visitors through your university there may also be formal visitor programs in your community that you could volunteer with. Some of these include:
We encourage you to further hone your travel skills by becoming a tourist in your own backyard! We often fail to take advantage of the sight-seeing and travel opportunities that are closest to us and you may be surprised at just how much there is to see near where you live or go to school. An excellent time to explore the sites around your town would be when there are visiting students or researchers from Japan who would also likely be very interested in exploring with you.
You also now have a built in network of fellow NanoJapan students that you can visit around the U.S. and it is not uncommon for our alumni to arrange informal get-togethers with other students in a certain state or region. Not only will this allow you to reconnect with your fellow program participants but it is also a great way to see more of the U.S.