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5 Benefits of Attending a Returnee Conference

Alumni Ambassadors, Sarah Kliminski (Prague Spring ’14 alumna) and Alexa Markovich (Madrid Spring ’14 alumna), returned to their home campus with the desire to create study abroad awareness and act as a resource to students interested in studying abroad.
 Sarah Kliminski (left) and Alexa Markovich (right)

Like many study abroad alumni, Sarah and Alexa were challenged in learning how to effectively engage prospective students and accurately articulate their life-changing experiences. To further develop these skills, they attended the Lessons from Abroad (LFA) returnee conference in Los Angeles, CA.

What are returnee conferences?

  • Conferences hosted primarily for study abroad alumni
  • Newer resource organized and hosted nation wide by universities and study abroad organizations
  • Opportunity to network, further reflect on time abroad, and learn how to apply it to daily living and future aspirations
  • Composed of a variety of sessions throughout the day including: Resume/Cover letter building, Going Abroad Again (Work/Volunteer/Grad School), Career in International Education, etc.

So, why should you check out these returnee conferences? Here are Sarah and Alexa's 5 reasons for attending:

1. Networking

2. Helping your transition

"I attended the conference to engage with peers who traveled abroad and are still feeling torn about being back. Many of the feelings I've had since I've been back quickly subsided since I was able to speak with students who could relate to me...I would highly recommend students to attend this conference, especially because the transition is so difficult when returning home."

3. Going abroad again

Workshops: Grad School, Teaching English, Internships, Go Abroad Again, Travel Blogging & Journalism

Alexa said, "After the conference, I realized that I want to return abroad and work with a company that has an international focus."

4. Translating experience/new skills to resume/cover letter/interview

Sarah found the sessions to be personally and academically pertinent because they "introduced different concepts on how we could articulate our experiences in real words. I found that the Travel Blogging & Journalism workshop did that incredibly well, which was beneficial for me because I am pursuing a career in broadcast journalism."

"The number one lesson for me is how we as students can apply such a life-transforming experience into words as we are finishing college and stepping into the real world," said Sarah.

5. Travel nostalgia

"You have the opportunity to engage with fellow study abroad alumni, which significantly helps alleviate the 'homesickness' that you feel for your host city," said Alexa.

The more popular ones that Sarah and Alexa decided to join were Grad School Options, Go Abroad Again, Young Professionals in the Field of International Education, and Travel Blogging & Journalism.

 Alexa at CSU Fullerton's Study Abroad Fair
 Alexa (left) and Sarah (right) at the LFA conference

Sarah Kliminski is an Alumni Ambassador (Prague Spring ’14 Alumna) and senior at California Baptist University. Alexa Markovich (Madrid Spring ’14 alumna) is an Alumni Ambassador and a senior at California State University Fullerton.

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