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Returning From Study Away

Even though your study away experience has concluded, your journey through global and intercultural education continues!
  • There are two key administrative steps that are necessary in order to transfer your study away courses to Oberlin; completing your Post Experience Evaluation and submitting your credit transfer documentation. Details about both are listed below.
  • Please also explore our resources for returning students, and at least consider our gracious request for your study away photos!
Your feedback about your study away experience is incredibly valuable! Other Obies can benefit from your (anonymous) feedback when trying to understand if a program is the right fit for them, what housing and courses are like, or whether the location is a good match. Your feedback also helps our office gain a deeper understanding of these programs, our students’ experiences on them, and if they're supporting the mission and values of our office and those of Oberlin.

Access your Post Experience Evaluation by logging into your original study away application through the Oberlin site. Once you login;
> Click on the Applicant tab in the black bar that stretches across the middle of the screen
> This should either take you directly to your applicant home page, or it will produce a dropdown menu where you can click on My Home
Once on your applicant home page, you'll see a heading Applications. Underneath that heading will be the name of your study away program.
> Click on your study away program and you'll be redirected to your original application (that you filled out prior to departure)
> You're now inside your application. Scroll down the page until you see the Post Experience Evaluation; click on it, and you can then complete it.
1) Confirm your study away program is sending your transcript to Oberlin
In some cases, your study away transcript will be sent to you automatically, or to the Oberlin Registrar. In other cases, you’ll need to actually request that your program sends it. Each program is different; so it’s best to contact them to ensure the transcript is on its way (either to you or to Oberlin). If it’s sent to you, please turn it into the Registrar.

2) Make sure your Transfer of Credit Request matches your study away transcript
In order for your study away courses to transfer to Oberlin (remember, you can transfer back a max of four from each semester away) each one needs to be listed on your Transfer of Credit Request (ToC Request) - which you can find on the Registrar's website. Ideally, you completed and submitted the ToC Request to the Registrar prior to departure.

If all courses you wish to transfer are listed on your original ToC Request and you already received the necessary course approvals, then there's nothing left to do. However, sometimes students take courses on their program that were not listed on the original form, or it wasn’t possible to complete the form prior to the start of the program. If so, you'll need to complete a new TOC Request and turn it into the Registrar. For additional information about transferring study away courses, please visit our FAQ page.

► Affiliated Programs: All four courses need to be listed on the ToC Request. You only need approval for courses transferring into your major/ minor. You do NOT need approval for courses transferring to Oberlin as general electives.

► Non-Affiliated Programs: All four courses need to be listed on the ToC Request. And you'll need approval for *each* of them, whether they’re transferring as major, minor, or general elective courses.

Course Approval: Whether you went on an Affiliated or Non-Affiliated Program, course approval needs to come from the Chair of the Oberlin Department into which the course is transferring.
“Culture shock is the expected confrontation with the unfamiliar. Reentry shock is the unexpected confrontation with the familiar.”

Returning to Oberlin from your time away can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding and ultimately plays a crucial role in your growth as a person and a student. For some, readjusting to life on campus can be as difficult as, if not more so than, adjusting to life abroad (or life elsewhere in the U.S.). Yet, this period of readjustment is also a time when you process and incorporate your experiences away into the next phase of your life. As you navigate this readjustment, be patient, practice self-care, and consider opportunities that provide you with support, engagement, inspiration, guidance, and the chance to give back. Here are some to consider:

Bonner Center
An excellent way to stay engaged and give back to the campus and local community! The Bonner Center works with students, faculty, staff, and community partners to facilitate meaningful experiences that empower students to become creative leaders, support nonprofit organizations, and inspire academic innovation and interdisciplinary problem solving.

Career Exploration and Development (CED)
How can you incorporate your study away experience into your career path? How can you discuss it in interviews, or capture it on your resume? Career Exploration and Development can help! CED helps students identify and achieve meaningful career objectives that build upon their Oberlin education and study away experiences. 

Center for Student Success 
Struggling with classes or other aspects of life during your transition back to Oberlin? It's ok; we're here to help. The Center for Student Success offers students a central place to receive a range of academic support, resources, and guidance. Find an academic tutor. Get pointers for managing your time, or advice from a peer mentor. Receive help in navigating resources on and off campus, or guidance on self-care.

Counseling Center 
Returning from study away can, sometimes, be an unexpectedly challenging experience. And it may not be easy to overcome that challenge on your own. Seek support for your transition back through the Counseling Center. They can help you understand and process your experiences and provide meaningful support for all aspects of your life.

International Student Resource Center (ISRC)
Connecting with the ISRC can be a great way to get involved with international and cross-cultural communities we have right here on campus. You may be able to meet and connect with students from the country you studied abroad in; leading to an empowering and mutually enriching experience through linguistic and cross-cultural exchange.

Multicultural Resource Center (MRC)
Provides programs and services that affirm and promote equity for students of color, LGBTQ+ students, and first-generation college students. A wonderful office to connect with after returning from study away, the MRC is committed to working with students from various cultural backgrounds and experiences to create a climate where everyone belongs and has equitable opportunities and outcomes.

Oberlin Shansi
Already thinking about going abroad again?! Reach out to Shanshi; dedicated to building mutual understanding and respect between people in Asia and the Oberlin community. Shansi facilitates educational and cultural exchanges, and individual projects with universities and non-governmental organizations in China, India, Indonesia, and Japan. 

Office of Fellowships
Works with students interested in applying for nationally competitive scholarship and fellowship programs both during their time at Oberlin and post-graduation across. Opportunities exist across a broad range of fields and locations around the world. 

Office of Religious & Spiritual Life
A multifaith resource center that provides and supports diverse religious, spiritual, and ethical programs and activities for students. Religious and Spiritual Life responds to the educational, spiritual, and personal needs of students from a wide array of spiritual orientations, including non-theists.

Peer Advising Program
As a returning study away student, you've technically transitioned into Oberlin twice! Consider helping incoming students as they transition into college life for the first time; become a PAL!

Resident Assistant
An RA position is perhaps one of the most dynamic, challenging, rewarding, and versatile employment opportunities on campus. Having studied away, you now have a directly applicable set of skills and experiences for the RA role. Connect with Res Life to learn more about the RA position, and reach out to our office to learn more about how study away prepares you for this role.

Student Clubs & Organizations
Consider joining a club or organization to explore a new interest or reconnect with an old one. Don't see one you're interested in? You can always start your own!
If you have a favorite photo (or photos) that you'd like to share with our office, we would love to see them! Student-generated content is a great way for us to engage prospective study away students in the experience their fellow Obies are having through study away. With your permission, our office would like to post your study away photos on our website or use them in other student-facing materials (and possibly our social media accounts - mainly Instagram). So, if you’d like to share your experience with other Obies and help encourage them to pursue study away, please send your pics to Please let us know in the body of the email if you'd like your name listed on the photo, as well as where the photo was taken.