During your semester abroad, there will be several things you’ll want to do to help prepare yourself to transition home smoothly.
During your term, you’ll need to communicate with various offices at HPU regarding your education abroad and your return. After classes have started, it’s suggested that you send your final course enrollment to your academic advisor, so they are aware of which classes you are taking abroad. This will help when it comes time for advising.
Before the course registration period opens, you’ll receive emailed instructions about how to register while abroad. When you receive this email, begin emailing with your academic advisor so you will be cleared to register.
You’ll also receive an email from the Office of Student Life with instructions on how to sign up for housing back at HPU.
In addition, important information and updates from the Office of Global Education will be emailed out as needed.
Because your HPU email account will continue to be used as your primary means of communication with HPU, it’s important that you regularly check your account and delete out unneeded emails, to make sure you do not lose necessary emails due to a full inbox.
You need to make sure that everything is finalized with your host university before leaving campus. Make sure that your transcript will be sent to the Office of Global Education at High Point University. Also make sure that there are no fines, outstanding balances, or holds on your account which would prohibit your transcript from being released. It’s much easier to clear up these things when you are still on campus.
Make sure that you have scheduled your departure from campus after your exams will be completed. If you purchased an open-ended ticket, schedule your return flight. Will you be traveling before returning to the States? If so, have you thought about storing your luggage somewhere versus carrying it all around with you (most accommodations will not allow you to store personal belongings past the check-out date)?
It is advisable that you bring home your coursework, especially if it is for a class which has not been approved already by HPU faculty.
You’ll receive emailed information about registering for courses while you’re abroad. Similar to when you’re on campus, you will need to be cleared by your academic advisor. Contact your advisor via email for advising. If it would be easier to speak, you may consider asking if you can have a Skype appointment during one of their office hours. It’s best to start this process as soon as you receive the email, as you’ll be working with varying time zones to communicate.
If you are planning to take a class with a prerequisite that you are taking while abroad, contact the professor for permission–you may need to send him/her a copy of the syllabus. This permission will need to be sent to the HPU Registrar.
Similar to course registration, you’ll receive emailed instructions from the Office of Student Life regarding your on-campus accommodations. You’ll be able to select your accommodations from those available on the website. Specific questions regarding accommodations should be directed to the Office of Student Life.
The way one prepares to leave their host university, culture, and new friends is often one of the most forgotten parts of the studying abroad process—usually waiting until it’s too late or even until their home. Saying goodbye properly can be a very difficult process. There have been a lot of people and places which have added to your experience, and it’s important to give yourself the time to say goodbye. This process can be very different for each person but can include everything from photos and videos, collecting popular local music or art, learning to cook your favorite dishes, journaling or blogging, or spending time with your new friends.
Consider capturing the places and people that have become part of your normal routine: your neighborhood or street, your favorite hangout location, cultural icons, etc. Remember, although these places are common now to you, they are not to your friends and family back home. Sharing pictures of your daily life will help others to understand better your experience, and will help you remember these great memories that you’ve built in your time abroad.
As you consider saying goodbye, think about what you anticipate and fear about leaving your host culture as well as what you anticipate and fear about going home. Let those answers prompt how you say goodbye.