Spiders who study abroad experience unique re-entry at Richmond

RICHMOND, Va.  -  Did you know nearly two-thirds  of the University of Richmond’s graduates study abroad?

"Honestly, it was the best five months ever," student Daniel Quinn, who recently returned to Richmond from Madrid, said. "I get to hear from people who studied in Australia, London.  A friend studied in Chile, so it's definitely a global perspective."

But what's available to students once they return from studying abroad?

"A lot of attention is paid on preparing them to go," Ellen Sales, Director of Education Abroad, said, "but what we realized from students in particular is that they actually need some time to reflect on the experience and to incorporate it into their life once they return. "

UR developed a unique re-entry experience called The Return: a reflective, cross-campus journey intended to help students process their recent international experiences.

"The journey takes people through the school and maybe different parts that we haven't seen before," Jessica Winkler, Fellow for International Education, said ,"so it's almost like a fresh look at the University of Richmond."

Grace Faulkner is just back from Kenya.

"I was just in the music building and they said they have music collections from all over the world. And when I was abroad in Kenya, the Maasai have really pretty chants and songs," she said.

That discovery shined a light on how Grace could share her experience with friends.

"And if they could just hear something that I was able to hear they could better understand what it was like to really be out so far from home," she said.

"We think it's important for them to understand how their experience impacted them and then be able to spread that message," Sales added.

"I kind of wanted to talk about my experience," Quinn said. “You know, instead of just having people ask me, 'Oh, how was it?', and me saying 'Oh, it's great!'.  It's given me a platform to give myself some closure and especially with other kids who are doing this.  I get to talk about real experiences with them."

Building that global perspective... is Building Better Minds.

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