For over 36 years, Central College in Pella, Iowa has been a leader in small college study abroad programs. Over eight programs have been established since 1965, with a ninth program marked for a 1999 start date. However, although almost 40% of the student body studies off campus, there has never been an “formal” reentry program established for students returning to the home campus. Is an official program needed, or is a small college in Iowa an easy transition back to the United States for students after a semester abroad?
The program in Merida Yucatan was started in 1968. It was the first program open to all students (not just language majors). Almost all of the 400 Yucatan program participants from 1985-1997 were sent surveys with questions regarding their return to the United States and the Central College campus and their feelings about the possibility of a “formal” reentry program to be offered by the home campus.
The biggest concerns with students’ return were college-related business, e.g. paying bills, getting a room on campus, searching for a job and the need to share their story.
Though an official program is not expected to be implemented soon, as a result of this study, a suggestion has been made to the International Education Office and the director of the study program, that a small handbook be given to the students immediately before their return to the United States.
International and Comparative Education
Huffman, Kimberley, "Reentry: A Case Study of the Central College International Education Yucatan Program 1985-1997" (1998). Capstone Collection. 951.