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 Jonny Porter ( 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.

IPE Annual Photo Contest

IPE’s Photo Contest is Suspended, See Last Year’s Info for Reference



  1. Students who participated in Fall 2018, Academic Year 2018-19, Winter 2019, and/or Spring/Summer 2019 international experiences (including study, work, internship, research and/or volunteer).
  2. Current College of Engineering exchange students.

Photo Content:

This year’s photo contest theme is: What Does Global Engagement Mean to You?

  1. Domestic/International students who completed an international experience outside the United States should submit photos taken during their international experience.
  2. Current CoE International Exchange Students should submit photos taken in the United States outside the classroom setting (examples might include various cultural/social events).

Rules of Entry:

  1. Photos must be your original work and taken while you were abroad.
  2. Digitally altered photos will not be accepted.
  3. Photos dimensions must exceed 2250×3000 pixels.
  4. Each photo submission must be accompanied by 3-5 sentences answering the question: What does global engagement mean to you?
  5. Students can submit up to 5 photos.

Submitting Photos:

  1. Submit your photos using IPE’s submission form. Each photo must include a description!

The submission deadline is October 24, 2019, at 11:59 pm.  Only photos that meet the criteria listed in the Rules of Entry above will be considered. 


NEW: Social Media Contest


Instructions: Submit your best photos from your education abroad experience to our photo contest! Photos will be judged with a 50% weight on the number of likes your photo receives on social media, and 50% on the votes of the designated staff in the IPE office.


  1. Follow @UMIPEOffice on Instagram
  2. Post a picture from your education abroad experience using the following hashtags #IPEPhotoContest2019 #UmichEnginAbroad
  3. Include the geographical location the picture was taken in, the program name or experience you participated in, and the timeframe you went abroad
  4. Get the most likes on your picture before the Oct. 17th @11:59PM deadline – Creative captions will improve your chances of winning!



  1. Current College of Engineering students who have participated in an education experience abroad.
  2. You MAY enter this competition as well as the Official Marketing Submission

Rules of Entry:

  1. Photos must be your original work and taken while you were abroad.
  2. Students can submit up to 3 photos.

*All posts must be made on a public Instagram account for the duration of the contest, otherwise our office will not be able to see your post

The submission deadline is Oct. 17th, at 11:59 pm.  Only photos that meet the criteria listed in the Rules of Entry above will be considered.

Prizes & Judging Information:

Prizes will be awarded to winners and announced in October.  We will also nominate up to ten students to be featured at the campus-wide Global Photo Showcase Event November 19, 2019 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. during International Education Week.  Photos will be judged on subject matter, quality, creativity, originality, and respect for local culture. Photos will be judged by staff from IPE and other CoE offices.  Keep in mind that we are looking for images that capture a meaningful relationship between the photographer and the subject.

Need some inspiration?  Here are some examples of past winners!

(You can view these and all other entries on the IPE Flickr Page)

Name: Lingene Yang

Program: Engineering Global Leadership

Photo Location: South Africa

Name: Alycia Gerber

Program: Clean Energy in Xiamen (Summer)

Photo Location: Shanghai, China

Name: Kevin Yang

Program: Berlin University of Technology (Summer)

Photo Location: Berlin, Germany

Name: Alec Beljanski

Program: Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (Summer)

Photo Location: Kowloon, Hong Kong

Name: Paul Ahnn

Program: ENSEA France (Summer)

Photo Location: Riomaggiore, Italy

Name: Nick Mariam

Program: UM-SJTU Joint Institute (Summer)

Photo Location: Yellow Mountains near Shanghai, China

Name: Carli Oster

Program: University of New South Wales, Australia (Winter)

Photo Location: Thailand

Name: Jacob Brink

Program: Spanish, Language, Culture & Industry at TecNun Spain (Spring)

Photo Location: Spain

Name: Paul Akande

Program: Engineering Global Leadership

Photo Location: South Africa

Name: Ellen Setiawan

Program: Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Singapore (Summer)

Photo Location: Phuket, Thailand

Questions? Please email Jonny Porter (, IPE’s Alumni Network Advisor


    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.