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If you completed courses at an institution abroad, it is your responsibility to request a copy of your transcript from your host institution after you have completed all course requirements.

Without a transcript, Humber will not be able to begin the credit assessment process, so it is important that you order a transcript BEFORE you leave, where possible. Transcripts can take between several weeks to several months to arrive. Ask your guest institution about their policy for issuing transcripts so that you have an idea of what to expect. It is recommended that you order additional sealed copies for yourself, in case you should ever need them in the future (e.g., grad school, scholarship, job, etc.)

Your transcript MUST be submitted to the Registrar’s Office together with a copy of your Learning Agreement in order to grant you credit for completed coursework abroad.


Culture shock is a normal part of going abroad that all travelers experience at one point or another. It’s expected that you’ll feel stress while living in a new environment and dealing with new behaviours, words, facial expressions, values and attitudes that may be unexpected and quite different than what you’re used to.

Reverse Cultural Shock

When it comes time to return home, you may feel a mix of emotions about leaving the place(es) you’ve grown comfortable to living in, and perhaps to love. It will be difficult to say goodbye to the friends you’ve made along the way and to the aspects of the culture and lifestyle that you’ve enjoyed. At the same time, you’re probably excited to reunite with your friends and family back in Canada, and to share stories and photos from your experience abroad.

Within a few days of your return, you may be surprised to find that you experience as much, if not more, “culture shock” as when you were abroad. This is very common for any traveler, and there are several reasons for the disoriented feelings you may have. Living abroad, you’ve become accustomed to the excitement of exploring new places, meeting new people, and learning about yourself and others. When you go overseas, you expect everything to be different. In contrast, you assume things will be familiar when you return home – we rarely expect to be shocked by our own culture.

When you return home, your friends and family may expect you to be the same as when you left. However, you’ll probably realize that your perceptions, interests and values have changed, while those of your family and friends may not have. You may even find that they aren’t as interested in hearing about your experience as you are in telling them. It’s also common to feel that your daily routine at home is boring / uninteresting compared to your life abroad.

Some common feelings and experiences include:

  • Missing friends made abroad, as well as the culture and way of life in your host country
  • Frustration that your friends and family don’t seem to understand the importance of your overseas experience or lose interest after you tell them about it
  • Reverse homesickness: “I want to go back!”
  • Changing goals and priorities
  • Boredom and finding everyday life in Canada to be trivial
  • Feeling alone – like an outsider in your own country
  • Depression, uncertainty, confusion

Tips and Advice

Take some time to reflect upon your time abroad, and consider what the experience has taught you about yourself and others. Remember, be patient with yourself. Re-entry is a time of transition. Learn ways to take care of yourself, think positively, and maintain a sense of humor.

Use these questions as a guide:

  • Why did I decide to go abroad?
  • What were some of the highlights?
  • What part of my journey was the most challenging?
  • What part did I find most surprising?
  • What did I learn about myself?
  • What did I learn about others?
  • How was the culture in your host country different from where you grew up and how did that make you feel? How did you deal with differences?
  • How has your experience abroad caused you to view other people, cultures, practices, and beliefs differently?
  • What knowledge, skills and attitudes have I gained?
  • How do I see my role in the world as a result of my experience abroad?
  • How do I think studying abroad has/will play a role in my career path?
  • What advice do I have for students thinking about going abroad?
  • Am I interested in continuing to travel in the future? Where would I like to go? For how long?
  • Visit Humber Humber Global to learn how you can get involved on campus helping international students enjoy their experience in Canada, and supporting others who are preparing to go abroad! We’re eager to hear all about your experiences!
  • Share your stories and new knowledge through a journal, blog, or other social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
  • Make an appointment with an Employment Advisor in the Humber’s Career Services Office who will be able to help you identify and to articulate the skills you’ve gained abroad for your resume, cover letters, and future job interviews.
  • Talk to others who have gone through a study abroad experience. They will be able to relate to you. Talking to other people will reduce some of your loneliness and frustration. Contact Humber Global if you need an introduction to other students.
  • Understand that your friendships and relationships may have changed as a result of your new experiences.
  • Join an international club, take a language course, or register for courses where you can apply what you learned from your travel and academic experiences abroad.

Recognizing Your Skills

Your experience abroad has given you new knowledge, skills and attitudes which can be marketed to potential employers – or to school programs if you would like to continue your education.

Think of stories and examples from your experience abroad which would demonstrate your grasp of the following:

1.  Knowledge

  • Knowledge of relevant countries’ histories, politics, economics, geographies, languages, cultures, and social norms
  • Self-knowledge / awareness of your own identity
  • Knowledge about global issues, systems, and the dynamics of how things are interrelated and interconnected

2.  Skills

  • Relationship-building skills
  • Listening skills
  • Information-gathering skills
  • Problem-solving / decision-making / critical thinking skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills
  • Language skills

3.  Attitudes

  • Adaptability 
  • Self-confidence
  • Curiosity
  • Ability and desire to learn
  • Ability to take risks and fail
  • Global mindset
  • Comfortable with ambiguity
  • Open-minded and non-judgmental to other ways of thinking
  • Self-reflective
  • Respect for others
  • Tolerant to differences 
  • Sense of humour

Skills and Marketing Your Experience Abroad

Humber Career Centre >
An Employment Advisor will be able to help you identify and to articulate the skills you’ve gained abroad for your resume, cover letters, and future job interviews.

Your International IQ >
People who go abroad are different and here’s why! 

Marketing Study Abroad >
How to Market Your Overseas Experience to Employers: Useful advice and tips for any job search

UNESCO Guide to “Intercultural Competence" >
A useful resource for understanding the many different elements of intercultural competence. 

Global Competency  
A good summary of skills

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