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Re-Entry Programming

(or Re-Entry Orientation or Re-Entry Conference) - Programming intended to support students with readjustment back to their home culture and campus. This orientation encourages students to reflect on what they learned abroad and to articulate their experiences to themselves and to others as tools for building their new skills and perspectives. Re-entry programming may be built into the in-country program and/or given on the home campus after the students' return.


A consideration or analysis of a topic or experience that has an academic basis but is also personal in nature. This is a common pedagogical method for courses on study abroad programs that examine cross-cultural issues. Through reflection, participants are asked to examine a particular cultural issue or practice in the host country and analyze it through their personal lens. Generally reflection is done through a journal or other piece of writing (also called reflective writing).

Research Abroad

An activity abroad that typically pairs a study abroad student or students with on-site faculty and/or other local experts to pursue a specific topic or research question. Such research typically results in the writing of an academic paper or article, whether to fulfill requirements for academic credit or other degree requirements or with an eye to publication in a peer-reviewed journal or presentation at an academic conference. The research may be undertaken as part of an organized study abroad program (i.e. a research-based course or independent project) or in a completely independent manner outside the structure of a program.

Research Program

A subtype of field study program in which the main focus is research conducted by participating students.

Residence Hall

(or Dormitory or Dorm) – A building used to house students. The building may range in size from just a few rooms to hundreds, and rooms may be single or multiple occupancy. Most often, residents of a group of rooms share bathrooms with shower, toilet, and sink facilities. There may also be shared kitchen facilities. In the United States, the term “dormitory” is going out of style with residential life professionals, who prefer the term “residence hall.” Major factors education abroad students consider when choosing to live in a residence hall include convenience to classrooms, cost, and the opportunity to live with local students.

Resident Director

(or Center Director or On-Site Director) – An individual whose primary role is to manage an education abroad program on site. The director’s roles are multifaceted and usually include overseeing all areas of a center or program, including student life; budgetary and fiscal management; academic affairs; health, safety and risk management; institutional relationships; and personnel management. Historically, the title referred to an individual, often a university faculty member, who served as the director-in-residence for a one- to three-year term. Today, the individual is often a permanent employee of the education abroad program.

Residential College

A housing facility that often physically resembles a residence hall and often combines elements of living and academic aspects of the university in one location. Residential colleges encourage participation in a variety of social clubs and may have an academic element (such as their own course offerings). They often have a central theme, such as an academic focus or common interest (for example, multiculturalism or internationalism). Members of a residential college may be expected to eat their meals together. Such facilities are rare in the U.S., but common in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.


An education abroad participant who has returned to the home institution after completion of her or his program. Although technically the term Alumnus or Alumna (plural Alumni or Alumnae) means a degree-holding graduate of an institution, in an education abroad context it has come sometimes to be used as a synonym for returnee (“education abroad alumnus,” “program alumna,” etc.).

Risk Management

The process of identifying, assessing, and controlling risks that arise from operational factors in order to minimize their negative consequences.