We hope that you remain excited about your international endeavors, and we do not want you to lose your enthusiasm! Our goal is that your study abroad experience does not end upon return to the US. We want to encourage you to stay connected to your host country, share your experiences with others by applying to be a peer advisor or ambassador, and get involved in the community: you may be surprised how international Nashville really is! Here are some ideas and resources to get involved.
Keep the things you liked about your host culture and incorporate them into your home culture. Share your experiences with friends, family, your GEO advisor, and other students interested in study abroad. For many, the experiences in their host country have led to a desire for social change and political action, at home and abroad. Get involved!
Every year, GEO conducts a photo contest and selects the top twelve photos to be featured in various Vanderbilt promotional materials. The Vanderbilt community participates in selecting the best photo, and all winners are highlighted across campus and will have their photos displayed for a year in the Student Life Center. Returned students will be contacted about the contest via email.
You can submit your photos and study abroad essays to online magazines such as Transitions Abroad or Glimpse. Check with your study abroad program to see if they offer contests or opportunities to get published. Submit an abstract or article to be considered for the annual ReEntry Conference and it just might end up in the conference journal!
If you aren’t too keen on entering a contest or writing, but want your photos to be shared, consider this: Submit your photos to GEO for promotional use. Credit will be given, and your published photos may be seen by the world at large!
Of course you should look into being a Peer Advisor or a Student Ambassador – but what if you want to more? Fear not, you have options!
Help GEO with our events! Study abroad fairs, pre-departure orientations, cross-campus outreach: all of these things happen regularly and, know what? Students prefer hearing from other students! GEO will reach out to study abroad alumni for help with these events, so take advantage of the opportunity to discuss everything you miss about your study abroad experience with an eager audience!
Connect with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) – they have many opportunities to connect with international students and internationally themed programs that happen throughout the year. For example, their International Lens program screens foreign films on-campus while their World on Wednesdays program offers internationally themed lectures, debates, and presentations. You could even propose a World on Wednesdays topic if you would like to present! Not only that, but ISSS heads-up Vanderbilt’s participation in the government International Education Week, and they often seek proposals for internationally themed programs to go with the theme. For more information on the ISSS programming, visit their website.
Join a Student Organization or create your own! There are a number of international groups already in existence on campus, including a Study Abroad student org called Study Abroad Alumni that is run by your fellow study abroad peers! Some other options include the African Student Union, the Aikido Club, AMIGOS, Global China Connection, Project: Bridges, and Vanderbilt International Connections, to name just a few. There are almost 700 student organizations on campus, so you are certain to find one that interests you!
Continue or begin language studies. If you don’t want to take a class on-campus, consider the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute or local language clubs like the Alliance Française!
There are many ways to get involved in Nashville! Below are simply a few of your options, but a Google search can help you find more options related to your personal international interests.
If you are interested in working with refugees and immigrants now that you have experienced living in a foreign country, there are many organizations dedicated to this type of work in Nashville. Some examples include Nashville International Center for Empowerment, Center for Refugees and Immigrants of TN, TN Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, Kurdish Human Rights Watch, and Conexion Americas, to name just a few. You may not realize it, but Nashville has one of the largest refugee populations in the country!
Want some more ideas? Former Peer Advisor Catherine Cocke (Cape Town Service Learning, Fall 2011) created this reference sheet of international student organizations sorted by international region! International Student Organizations Reference Sheet
Different programs have different deadlines; be sure to look closely! [more...]
GEO applications are now open for spring 2018 programs! Click on the buttons to the left to search for programs and apply.
Tuesdays at 4:10 PM and Thursdays at 12:10 pm, every week between Orientation and Graduation [more...]
Be a Student Ambassador! Remember all of the questions you had as you were applying and preparing to go abroad? You can help future study abroad students who have the same questions! [more...]