Congratulations on completing an international experience!  As an alumnus of such an experience, you know first-hand the value of a global perspective.  Now is your chance to share your knowledge and experience with current University of Michigan College of Engineering students who are considering going abroad, as well as networking with other alumni of international programs.

International Programs in Engineering (IPE) is home to Engineering Abroad Returnee Network (EARN), a network that serves all College of Engineering students who have participated in study, work, research and/or volunteer abroad activities. To join the EARNers program please fill out the Engineers Abroad Returnee Network Sign-Up form. 

If you would like to be more involved and work for IPE, then please email Joshua Monthei ( to see about available opportunities.

Transcripts from IPE Study Abroad Programs

If you participated on an IPE study abroad program and ever need access to your transcript from your experience, you can always login to M-Compass and find it underneath the documents section. If you have any issues don’t hesitate to reach out to the IPE team and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Reverse Culture Shock

What is Reverse Culture Shock?

Reverse Culture Shock is a feeling which can occur when an individual is removed from their native culture for a period of time, exposed to other cultures, and then is reunited with their native cultural environment.  At times, the returning individual may feel out of place or have challenges reintegrating to their former life.  The individual may also notice new components of their native culture that they did not recognize before and may struggle with interpreting these revelations.

Interpreting your Experiences

Now that you have operated in another cultural setting, you may feel frustrated with elements of your own culture, or how your home nation engages with countries and cultures abroad.  Although these feelings are natural, it is important to consider the positive aspects of both your native culture and your host culture and remember that no one system is perfect.

Re-establishing Relationships

Oftentimes, your friends and family members have a static image of you as you were before your international experience.  They may not fully understand how you may have grown or changed as a result of your experience.  It is important to understand their perspective as well and to be patient.  

Discussing your Experiences

Do not be surprised if your audience does not seem to understand or relate to your experiences in the exact same way that you do.  They, unfortunately, were unable to live those moments with you and may need additional explanations or visuals to better understand the experiences you’re trying to share. The use of photos and stories is a helpful way to help your audience better comprehend your experiences and learn how you may have grown or changed from your time abroad.

Strategies to Help you Cope with Reverse Culture Shock:


Volunteering for international-themed student organizations on and off campus can be a great way to stay engaged with the international community while continuing to learn and grow.  

Submit your Videos and Photos into the IPE Photo Contest!

Submitting your photos and videos abroad into the IPE Photo Contest (see above) is a fun way to share your experiences with the entire University of Michigan College of Engineering community.  Your photos may even be used by the IPE office to help encourage other students to consider going abroad.

Create a Webpage, Blog, Journal, or Scrapbook:

Documenting your time abroad is a great way to capture your memories and preserve them for years to come.  Try to document your experiences as soon as you can following your return while your memories and feelings are still fresh.

Plan a Reunion:

Planning regular get together meetings with other students who went on the global experience with you is another way to keep connected to your international experience. With the help of technology and social media it has become even easier to keep connected with your friends abroad.