online pre-departure and re-entry course

Central College Abroad is excited to offer an online pre-departure and re-entry course for all students.  In addition to preparing students for and reflecting on the study abroad experience, these courses connect program participants at the most critical times - before and after study abroad. Students on the Central College campus and from around the country get to know one another during the pre-departure course and offer insight and support during the re-entry course.

Course overview

This course is designed to complement each student’s study abroad experience.  It will prepare students for what they are about to encounter abroad and assist them in processing their experiences once they return to campus. This course will explore how culture affects the way we perceive the world around us and examine, more closely, specific culture(s) of each program country. In addition to preparing students for culture shock, this course will give them insight into the excitement that awaits them abroad.

The Central College Abroad Pre-departure Course also aims to provide a centralized hub for all the practical logistics students need to take care of prior to the term overseas.

The re-entry seminar is designed to assist students in processing their experience once they return to campus and help them find productive ways to share their experience with others back at home.

Course objectives

  • Students will expand their knowledge of international current events and issues.
  • Students will gain an appreciation for the value of language proficiency.
  • Students will understand the importance of emotional intelligence and cultural maturity.
  • Students will develop skills for adjusting to new and different cultures.
  • Students will develop research and problem-solving skills.
  • Students will understand the importance of cultural awareness and sensitivity to personal and professional contexts.


  • Students will understand how they changed and developed through the study abroad experience.
  • Students will learn how to articulate skill development on resumes, graduate school applications, and in interviews.
  • Students will address issues of reverse-culture shock and share their study abroad experiences with others.

Frequently asked questions:

How will these courses be delivered? 
The courses will be delivered in Blackboard (a web-based course software package).  The class will be composed of on-line presentations that will include web-based reading assignments, and quizzes to test for understanding.  In addition, informal group chat sessions will be held with the program advisor, the overseas program directors, faculty liaisons, and professionals on the Central College campus.  This format will provide students the opportunity to discuss cross-cultural matters in an interactive format.

How will course credits be granted? 
Upon completion of the abroad program, pre-departure course credit
(.5 semester hours) will appear on the student’s transcript along with credit for each course the student took while abroad.

The re-entry course will take place after courses are finished; therefore, students from schools other than Central College enroll in the re-entry course for no credit. Students from Central College will be transcripted for re-entry course credit (.5 semester hours).

Who will facilitate the online course? 
The online course will be facilitated by Brian Zylstra, Manager of On-Campus Operations and Student Services. 

When will the course be offered? 
The online pre-departure course will start in November for students studying on spring programs and in April for students studying on summer or fall programs. 

The online re-entry course will start in September for students studying on spring and summer programs and in February for students studying on fall programs.

How will students register for the course? 
The student will be required to submit a registration form which will be made available as part of Central College Abroad’s online post-acceptance documents.

Where can I learn more?
Study abroad faculty/advisors as well as students may contact Brian Zylstra, Manager of On-Campus Operations and Student Services at or 1-800-831-3629.