Sammy Sander - Airport

Returning to Canada

Next steps, re-entry, and support

We are here to support you in your transition back home. Please find instructions and next steps below, along with suggestions on how you can use your experience to stay involved internationally from here in Calgary! We've also provided resources and tips on how to navigate re-entry and what to expect as you settle back into life here in Canada.

Don't forget to embrace your last few days and weeks while you are on your program. Be sure to use what time you have to enjoy some of your favourite places and local foods! And don't forget to take lots of photos or videos, even of the mundane things like your dorm room, your favourite restaurant or shop, the view from your window, your classrooms, the route you take to school, etc. These are some of the things you'll look back on most often when you're back in Canada and reminiscing on your time abroad.

Individual Exchange and Research Programs (Credited)

Next steps for students who went on individual exchange programs (summer, semester and full year) or research programs with transfer credit:

Ensure that official transcripts from your host institution will be sent to UCalgary, directly to the Global Learning office (mailing address here). DO NOT send them to Enrolment Services, the Awards office, or your faculty/academic advisor. 

Note: check with your host university international office if they require anything else before they will send your transcript (such as an exit report, transcript forms, etc.).

If your host university doesn’t issue official transcripts in hardcopy, please provide your study abroad advisor with a link/verification code to access the e-transcript. The e-transcript can also be sent to your advisor by email at study.abroad@ucalgary.ca.

Graduating soon?

If you're graduating or applying to convocate soon after your exchange, make sure to tell your Global Learning Advisor. You should also provide your advisor with an alternate email address so that we can reach you if you lose access to your UCalgary email.

If you're concerned about transcripts arriving in time for convocation deadlines, please check with your study abroad advisor before asking your host international office to expedite transcripts. Exchange transcripts have a different deadline than the normal convocation deadline.

Note: Law students do not need to ask for expedited transcripts unless they are graduating earlier than June.

For those of you that haven’t already registered in for courses next year, please make sure to do so before the deadline. Use the UCalgary website to check deadlines and complete your registration.

Note: all updates from UCalgary about course registration will be sent to your UCalgary email account. Please be sure to check it regularly. If you’re having issues with your email, contact itsupport@ucalgary.ca.

We cannot guarantee that we will have a transcript from your host university by the registration deadline or that your transfer credit will be processed by that time. If you need a certain year status to register in courses, or if you’ve taken a course on exchange that is a prerequisite for one you wish to register in next semester, you will need to work with your academic advisor for your course registration progress. Once you return from your time abroad, bring your course/unit outlines from your studies abroad to your academic advisor. Doing this can help you with any course registration issues and ensure a smooth transition when your transcripts do come in.

If you are applying for awards, please note that the Awards Office will have access to all processed transcripts sent to your study abroad advisor (you do not need to provide a second copy to Awards). If your transcripts & transfer credit has not been processed by the deadline, Awards will contact your Global Learning Advisor directly to ask for a copy. 

If you are applying for UCalgary awards and know that your transcript will come in near or after the deadline, please inform your Global Learning Advisor in advance. Your advisor may need an interim transcript from your host international office while they wait on originals to arrive, so it is a good idea to arrange this before the awards deadline, if necessary.

  • Apply for Financial Aid/Student Loans from your home province as per the standard application method.
  • Apply for residence at UCalgary if you will be living on campus.
  • Check to make sure you have been reinstated to the SU or GSA Health & Dental Plan.

You will be email a link to your Post-Exchange/Research Questionnaire after your program wraps up. We would really appreciate you taking the time to fill it out as thoroughly as possible, as this will help us to advise future students.

If you received International Study Travel Grant funding, or other funding through University of Calgary International, you also need to complete the International Study Travel Grant Program Report. The grant report is a separate requirement from the questionnaire mentioned in above and can be found in the drop-down section #2 on the grant page

Don't forget to attend the Returning Students Night (also called Re-Entry), which is held every semester! An invitation will be emailed to all returning exchange/internship/research students once the date is set.

The session includes information on incorporating your study abroad experience into your resume and using your experiences in job interviews, amongst other advice. We'll work on coping strategies for re-entry culture shock/disorientation, and discuss other opportunities for going abroad again (internships, volunteering, grad school abroad, etc.). This is also meant as a social night for you to connect with other students returning to Canada alongside you and talk about your time abroad.

Group Study, Internships, and Other Research (Non-Credited)

Next steps for students who participated in a Group Study Program (GSP), internship, or a non-credit bearing research program:

Your program advisor will email you a link to your Post-Program Questionnaire after your program returns from the field. We would really appreciate you taking the time to fill it out as thoroughly as possible, as this will help us to advise future students.

If you received the International Study Travel Grant (or other funding through University of Calgary International), you also need to complete the International Study Travel Grant Program Report. The grant report is a separate requirement from the questionnaire mentioned in above and can be found in the drop-down section #2 on the grant page here

Fill in your questionnaire

Other important information

  1. Mandatory Program Report

    If you received the International Study Travel Grant funding (or other funding through UCalgary International), you also need to complete the International Study Travel Grant Program Report. The grant report is a separate requirement from the questionnaire mentioned in above, and can be found in the drop-down section #2 on the grant page, linked here

  2. Promotional Requirements

    If you received an International Study Travel Grant, you will be required to complete promotional requirements. This helps us to build awareness across campus and ensure other students know about their international opportunities and the benefits of study abroad. There will be a number of promotional opportunities throughout the Fall and Winter semesters, and distance options for those of you who will not be on campus.

    The International Study Travel Grant page, linked here, details some of the ways you can complete your promotional requirement. You will receive emails with further details as opportunities arise. You can also create your own promotional/marketing opportunities (such as submitting an article for a Faculty or Department newsletter). Please follow the instructions on the grant page to get approval for creating your own opportunity like this.

Students who received transfer credit for international exchange & research programs:

If you are planning to graduate soon, or applying to any after-degree or graduate program, please make sure to follow up with your Global Learning Advisor to let them know!

The deadline for transcripts to UCalgary for convocation is not the same as the application deadline. If you're unsure of whether you will need expedited transcripts or not, again, please contact your Global Learning Advisor. 

For graduate/after-degree program applications:

Most grad school applications require both official UCalgary transcripts AND official transcripts from your host university.

You'll need to know how to have additional official transcripts sent from your host university (and how long that process takes) as the copy originally sent to your exchange/research advisor for transfer credit cannot be used for grad school applications, unless you are applying for a program at UCalgary that has access to your transcripts through Synergize. If you are applying to a UCalgary program, you should confirm if the program at UCalgary has access to your exchange transcripts through Synergize. 

Keep in mind that obtaining extra transcripts is not always as simple or as quick as an online form to fill in the way it is here. We do not keep extras on file beyond 12 months of your program completion. Many universities will not/cannot triage the transcripts directly, so we recommend a request date 2 months or more in advance of deadlines, especially if they need to be sent through our office. We also recommend keeping in mind host university staff holiday periods in December and summer holiday periods (commonly June - August, but may differ depending on your host university academic calendar), as request turnarounds may be even longer at this time. 

With transcript requests for grad school applications, please include a list of all graduate programs, forwarding addresses, transcript format requirements, and deadlines for your Global Learning Advisor to have to assist the triaging of transcripts. Also note that some universities no longer issue physical official transcripts for environmental purposes, and are instead converting to issuing e-transcripts only. 

Want to find Graduate programs abroad? See our section on going abroad again below. 

This doesn't have to be the end of your international experience!

  • You may be able to go abroad again through UCalgary! Use the program finder to check out semester, spring/summer, or block week Group Study Programs, semester or summer exchanges, research opportunities, or internships to cap off your degree.
  • For working abroad, check out International Experience Canada, a program offered by the government of Canada assisting young adults under 35 years of age who want to work or intern abroad. 
  • MyWorldAbroad is available for free through your UCalgary email account! For legacy access once you've graduated, contact study.abroad@ucalgary.ca to permit access to MyWorldAbroad under a non-Calgary email.
  • Don't forget to check out other opportunities around campus! UCalgaryCares runs service-learning programs to places like Costa Rica, New Orleans, the Yukon, and Toronto and participation is recognized on your co-curricular record.

Interested in continuing your studies abroad with a Masters or post-graduate degree? To find opportunities, you can browse sites such as: 

You can also search online for funding/opportunities for Masters programs abroad. 

If you're continuing your studies at UCalgary, there is a variety of international exchange or other study abroad opportunities for Masters students in faculties such as Law, the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic StudiesHaskayne MBA, and Architecture (SAPL). Faculties may advertise their own opportunities separately, but some faculties (e.g. CMSS, Law, SAPL) are also searchable on the Study Abroad Program Finder here

Staying connected and support after your return

One of the most rewarding things you can do after returning is connecting with others with shared experiences of travelling and studying overseas. Whether it is connecting with other Global Learning alumni, staying connected with friends, or volunteering on campus or in the community, there are many opportunities to connect and nurture your international side.

Volunteer on campus

There are lots of opportunities to help out and gain volunteer experience at the same time! You can become a Global Learning Ambassador for UCalgary International and support other UCalgary students hoping to go abroad. You can also participate in International Student Service's Mentorship program to help out new international students as they adjust to life on campus. For both of these programs, you'll get credit on your co-curricular record! There are also various one-off volunteer opportunities for Global Learning events throughout the year, such as Go Global Month, info booths, faculty abroad fairs, and more.

USpeak Global

Improve or learn a second (or third, fourth, etc.) language! The USpeak Global Program on campus will help you improve or practice a new language while teaching your own at the same time. For more details on applications & deadlines, see the link above.

Get creative!

Do you keep a journal or love to write? Write a post for our UCalgary Abroad Blog! If you're interested in submitting something, please contact study.abroad@ucalgary.ca with your idea (no completed blogs please). We'll work with you to make sure your blog post meets the requirements. Your creative content may count towards travel grant promotional requirements!

Join our Study Abroad Student and Alumni Groups

We are currently developing a student group for those who have been abroad or looking to go abroad and alumni of our programs! Keep an eye out for more details to be sent out through your email and stay connected with us. More information to come!

Global Community Challenge - YYC

Now more than ever, our world is facing new challenges. Organizations must demonstrate the ability to pivot and respond to issues as they arise in order to continue serving their target communities. The University of Calgary has engaged students and provided them with the opportunity to identify potential solutions to challenges faced by local organizations in the Calgary community that have an impact globally.

Bring your skills and experiences learned abroad and design a development project with an international team of students! more info on the Global Community Challenge page.

World's Challenge Challenge

Hosted by Western University, this innovative competition is an exciting way for UCalgary students to engage with other students from around the world to address global challenges from a wide variety of disciplines for a chance to win a top prize of $30,000. By participating, students will develop their critical thinking skills, global mindset, leadership, research, and presentation skills. More info can be found on our World's Challenge Challenge page.

International Video Contest and Photo Contest

Love to capture the moment in a visual way? Showcase your creativity and experiences abroad by entering the International Video Contest (Fall semester, video entries typically due in November) and/or the International Photo Contest (Winter semester, photo entries typically due in January). Your creative content may count towards travel grant promotional requirements!
 

LinkedIn Community Group

Join the Canadian Learning Abroad Alumni Community LinkedIn Group! This group is specifically for Learning Abroad Alumni who wish to network with others who have had similar experiences, find posted opportunities such as speaking at CBIE or institutional conferences or presentations, if you are interested in articles, posts and information on Learning Abroad and its link to soft skill development, or want assistance with career-finding and tips and hints on how to integrate your experience into interviews, your resume, or Linkedin profile.

MyWorldAbroad

Professionalize your experience by joining MyWorldAbroad. This is available for free through your UCalgary email account! For legacy access once you've graduated, contact study.abroad@ucalgary.ca to permit access to MyWorldAbroad under a non-Calgary email.

While there is a lot to be excited about, returning can come with its own set of challenges. Please find some helpful resources below as you navigate the intricacies of re-entry and settling back into life here are UCalgary.

Reverse Culture Shock

You might experience what is known as reverse culture shock. Reverse culture shock is the emotional and psychological distress suffered by some people when they return home after significant time abroad. This can result in difficulty in readjusting to the cultural norms and values of your home country, or feelings of isolation as you struggle to connect with others that don't have shared experiences. Here are some helpful resources to better understand the process:

ISEP - How to Deal With Reverse Culture Shock

Expatica - Reverse culture shock: what, when, and how to cope

Support Services on Campus

UCalgary has some great wellness services on campus. Please do not hesitate to connect with one of the Student Support Advisors if you would find it helpful to decompress with someone. 

Connect with your Global Learning Advisor

Your advisors at Global Learning are hear to support you, and have gone through many international experiences themselves. If you just want to talk about your experience and share any tips, joys, or anxieties you think might be helpful, please reach out at study.abroad@ucalgary.ca or drop into our office.