Reintegrating back into your home campus, or even the U.S., can be a challenge after spending a significant time away. Returnee reflections are a collection of students’ thoughts now that they’ve returned to campus and had some time to process, reflect, and share what they’ve learned.

If you studied away from Amherst (internationally or domestically) and have recently returned to campus, we would love to hear from you! Please connect via email with Amanda Wright

Returnee Reflections

  • What it is Like to Return

    What it is Like to Return

    Written by Ruth Manzanares ’18 The date is January 4th, 2017. It’s 4 in the morning and I can’t sleep. I don’t know if it’s from nervousness, excitement, or a combination of the two. All I know is that I’m about to embark on the journey of my life. In just a few hours I will be on a plane to Spain, a longtime dream of mine. I could not tell you when this dream began only that it was …Continue Reading »
  • Bordeaux, France: Home Away From Home

    Bordeaux, France: Home Away From Home

    By Lily Fang ’18Continue Reading »
  • From Amherst, with Mixed Feelings

    From Amherst, with Mixed Feelings

    I took my first step out of Logan airport, looked around me and sighed deeply. I was surrounded by mountains of snow. There was black ice everywhere. Temperatures were sub-zero. The wind was frigid. My nostrils soon went numb…even breathing hurt. It was at that moment that I began asking myself precisely why I had come back. The next week, I was greeted by something called a “bomb cyclone.” This was indeed as fearsome as the name suggests, and I …Continue Reading »
  • Elusive Expectations: Finding My Bearings After a Split Year Abroad

    Elusive Expectations: Finding My Bearings After a Split Year Abroad

    Written by Lily Fang ’18 Before I left, I wrote myself a letter. It was my final night on-campus before my junior year abroad. After hauling my remaining clutter to storage, I plopped down at my desk in my now-bare room. It felt unsettlingly empty. I was sad that day. A full year abroad was my longtime dream, but it also meant leaving close friends behind—friends who would graduate and disperse across the world before my return. I never knew …Continue Reading »
  • Only one? – Making Friends with French Natives

    Only one? – Making Friends with French Natives

    “A realistic goal for the semester is to make one good French friend.” I scoffed then. It was early September, during orientation for my study abroad program in Bordeaux. Confined to the stuffy university classroom, I was antsy. I longed to begin the experience already, to be free from the long hours of powerpoint presentations and overwhelming logistics. I had grand visions for the semester. Only one good French friend? I assumed it was a given–I was positive that things …Continue Reading »