Maximize Your Experience Abroad

This resource was co-authored by Wellesley Career Education and the Wellesley Office of International Study.

Set your vision and goals for study abroad before you leave.

Connect to your Wellesley network.

  • Stay in touch with the Office of International Study (OIS)! Shortly after your arrival on site, submit your local contact info to OIS. Share your blog/vlog with OIS, and OIS will post it on their website!
  • Know who your support system is in case you experience culture shock. Find the list of Wellesley students currently abroad on the OIS Forms & Resources webpage.
  • Browse The Wellesley Hive to get in touch with alums near your destination.
  • Stay in touch with Career Education to find out how to apply for internships, fellowships, or participate in on-campus recruiting while abroad. You can have appointments via video chat.
  • Share your study abroad plans and contact information with your major department. Stay updated on opportunities to apply for honors or thesis, or participate in specific seminars when you return.

Explore beyond the classroom.

  • Supplement your classroom experience with volunteer work or an internship.
  • Live like a local. Find out what they do with their free time, what they eat/drink, where they hang out, and then join them!
  • Participate in activities that will bring you in contact with locals. Join a sports club or a cooking club. Try something new!
  • Invest time and energy into connecting with locals. If you do not click with one person, find another!
  • If foreign language acquisition is a priority, remain disciplined and use the local language at all times.

Reflect on your experience while you are experiencing it.

Record your memories even if that means jotting down a couple of words each day in a journal. Doing this can help you to reflect on your experiences daily and approach your time away with intentionality.

Revisit your goals while abroad and plan ahead.

  • When you return to Wellesley, are there classes you would like to take so you can keep learning the language or subjects you have enjoyed abroad? Discuss these interests with your faculty advisor.

Are you looking to further develop skills you have learned while abroad through Career Education’s programs in Internships or Civic Engagement? Are you interested in applying for Fellowships to fund graduate study, or to return to the country or region in which you studied abroad?