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While Abroad and Coming Home

Be sure to review your Learning Content with this information and more on your personal study abroad page while abroad and upon returning home!

Final Exams/Papers
The Center for International Programs requires all participants in study abroad programs to sit for all final examinations in all courses and to complete all final papers prior to departure. Students who do not complete their course work do so at their own risk.
Dropping/Adding Courses
You must follow the official procedures of the host university related to dropping and adding courses. Failure to do so may affect the outcome of your grades at the host university.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (Pass/Fail) Grading
Grades earned at overseas universities are sent on official transcripts, by mail, to SUNY New Paltz where they are converted into U.S. equivalencies, if applicable. Many U.S. campuses have very strict regulations regarding the use of pass/fail courses. We therefore recommend that you only take graded courses overseas. Pass/Fail grades are subject to the pass/fail grade policy of the home campus. Students who take courses pass/fail (if available) do so at their own risk.
"Incomplete" Grades
In the event that you do not complete a course, an Incomplete Grade (I) will be forwarded to the Registrar's Office at your home campus. "I" grades are subject to the Incomplete Grade policy of the student's home campus. Participants who opt for an "I" grade do so at their own risk. The Center for International Programs at SUNY New Paltz does not assume responsibility for courses not completed. It is the responsibility of the participant to contact the overseas site at their expense to make whatever arrangements are necessary to complete the course. (Special note for New Paltz students: New Paltz students who do not resolve an incomplete course by midterm of the following semester will automatically receive an F for the course.)

Field Trip Participation
Field trips are considered an integral part of your study abroad experience. You are expected to participate in all field trips organized by the program. Field trip fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. No refunds will be given for field trips not attended.

Everyone experiences the re-adjustment process of returning to the United States differently.  You may be excited to see family and friends and to return to the comforts of home, but you may also feel sad about leaving your new friends and new life in your host country.  Mixed emotions are normal and it is a good idea to take time to reflect how you plan to integrate the lessons you learned while abroad back into your life in the United States.

Note: Review your learning content on 'Preparing to Return to the United States' in your personal study abroad application.



An important element to think about before you leave the country is which courses you will need to take on your return. Many colleges and universities allow their study abroad students to pre-register for the courses they will take upon their return. Students usually complete the paperwork prior to leaving and are then actually registered for their class either by the study abroad office staff or by the students' academic advisor. If you are a New Paltz student and internet access is readily available to you during your time abroad, you can also register for classes online through Make sure that you understand the procedure at your school so that you will get registered in the appropriate  manner.



Depending on whether you plan to live in on-campus housing or off-campus in an apartment when you return, you need to make your housing arrangements before you go. Some study abroad offices will send on-campus housing forms to you overseas to be completed or this may be done prior to departure. Check to see what the procedure is. New Paltz students are also able to sign up for housing online on If you are going to live in an apartment, you may even need to sign a lease and pay a deposit. You may even need to find someone to sublet your apartment during the time you will be overseas.


Stay Connected
Keep in touch with the friends you made overseas. This means both friends from the US as well as friends from the host country! Write letters, emails or even plan a reunion.

Keep Talking
Join a language club; read a book in your host country's language; enroll in a refresher course; subscribe to Google alerts from your host country; rent an international film; or subscribe to the host country's newspaper!

Reflect Often
If you kept a journal while abroad, continue to write your "post-abroad" experiences in it. It will be interesting to go back a year, two years, or even a decade from now to remember the experience as a whole and how it changed your life.

Submit your travel writings or photos to:


Promote Study Abroad on Campus

Share your experience and resources with other students by promoting study abroad on campus. You may volunteer your time or may even be able to get p aid by becoming a Peer Counselor at the Study Abroad Office (See next point).
Become an active study abroad alumni!
  • Become a Peer Counselor at your Study Abroad Office Contact your study abroad advisor to learn if there are positions available.
  • Help Out Join an international club or look into providing assistance to foreign students who are studying on your campus. Remember, you have been in their shoes and you understand their feelings about living in a foreign country!
  • Call your Study Abroad Advisor: We were here for you when you were planning your study abroad experience and we will be here after you return! Our staff has extensive experience working with students returning from abroad and wants to make sure that the transition to life back at home is smooth for all of our alumni. Don't hesitate to call us at 845-257-3125 and ask to speak with your Study Abroad Advisor.



The Career Resource Center at SUNY New Paltz can help you learn how best to showcase you international experience through thoughtful resume updates and good career planning. Contact them today to set up an appointment. 


There are many ways to pursue international endeavors even after your study abroad experience comes to an end. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Complete your Graduate Degree Overseas 
    • Return to your host country or pick a new one to continue your educational career abroad. This is a popular first step to pursuing an international career.

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