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Kellogg to host reentry open house

Carly Landon | Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Returning from an overseas study program can be difficult, shocking and exciting – even with adequate preparation. Every year, Notre Dame students who have studied abroad come back to campus eager to tell their stories, readjust to campus life and learn what to do with their learned experience abroad.

Tonight from 4 to 7 p.m., the Kellogg Institute is offering a Reentry Open House for all students returning from abroad at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.

According to the Office of International Studies, Notre Dame’s rate of undergraduate participation in the abroad programs is about 53 percent.

“One of the things I think most offices on campus recognize now is it is not enough to just prepare students to go abroad,” assistant director of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies Holly Rivers said.

Recognizing the need for more resources for abroad returnees, the Kellogg Institute is having its second open house for students returning from abroad. The Institute aims to help students incorporate their experience into their life at Notre Dame as well as do something greater with their abroad experience, Rivers said, such as an internship or fellowship.

“When students return to campus they are trying to process their experience and also trying to decide how to integrate their study abroad, summer experience or internship into their time at Notre Dame,” Rivers said.

“A lot of students worry that they learned something valuable, that their lives were changed and that they’re going to lose that,” she said.

The Reentry Open House will offer guidance and advice to returning students so that they can enhance their eligibility for post-graduate careers, fellowships or graduate study.

“Our students are now well qualified to do something greater with their time abroad,” River said. “And there are resources available to help them think more strategically and more creatively about their abroad experience.”

Reentry Sessions led by Cecilia Lucero, assistant director of Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, and Lance Askildson, director of the Center for Study of Languages and Literatures, will also be available at 4, 5 and 6 p.m.

“Both these centers are new this year to Notre Dame,” Rivers said. “The sessions serve to help launch these new centers and acquaint students with the services available through them.”

Other information about grants, fellowships, conferences and classes will be available by the 28 different Notre Dame offices also present at the Open House. These offices include the Career Center, the Center for Social Concerns and the University Counseling Center.

Rivers also encouraged students who have not yet been abroad to go to the Open House.

“There are students who have never been abroad who show up because they are interested in the opportunities and resources out there,” Rivers said. “And quite frankly it is a great resource for that as well.”

The technology room will also be available so students can share their photos taken abroad. The Kellogg Institute also hopes to encourage students to reconnect with friends and share their experiences this evening at the Open House.