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Get Involved at Cal Poly


Coming home doesn't mean that you are no longer engaged in education abroad and graduating from Cal Poly doesn't mean that your only option for international engagement is the occasional overseas vacation. Your abroad experience has made you more capable, more curious, and more aware of the world of opportunities that are out there, if you just look for them.
So, get involved!  Check out the suggestions below on how you can stay involved and remain connected to your study abroad experience both on and off campus.  Taking an active role in the international community will help you adjust to being back in the United States and give you a way to meet other people who value study abroad the way you do.

By being engaged, you'll continue to build on the skills you learned abroad.  Learn more about how to market your study abroad experiences; explore post-baccalaureate fellowship programs that can help you return abroad; and maybe think about other ways to go abroad again, like teaching or volunteering abroad.


1. Become a returnee contact

Another great way you can get involved is to be featured as a contact on our Connect with a Returnee webpage. This program allows the International Center to post your contact information and program testimonial on our Connect with a Returnee webpage as well as on specific program webpages so that students who are interested in the program and country you studied in can contact you with questions. Talking to prospective students will give you an opportunity to share your stories, insights, and tips from your experience abroad. This is a low commitment way to stay connected.

2. Apply to be a peer advisor

Cal Poly Study Abroad Peer Advisors are often study abroad alumni and, although they are trained to advise on all of our study abroad programs, they bring their own experiences to bear in talking with students about going abroad.

3. Volunteer at an event

If you are looking for some low-commitment opportunities to get involved when the time is right for you, you can always connect with the International Center in other ways to help out at some of our bigger events throughout the year!
  • ‚ÄčVolunteer the Study Abroad Fair (Oct): Work a table for your program during the next Study Abroad fair!  There are lots of opportunities to help out. Study Abroad Fairs are held twice a year.  
  • Attend a Pre-Departure Orientation Event (Nov/May): Share your experience and tips with students about to depart on their study abroad adventure!  Each Fall and Spring we hold pre-departure meetings for each of our respective programs.  We are always looking for study abroad returnees to attend and briefly discuss their study abroad experiences.  Students love to ask returnees questions; after all, you are the best ones to ask! 
  • Volunteer for "Taste of the World" (Feb): Help at one of the most fun (and delicious!) campus events of the year with Taste of the World! This free event is a celebration of international cuisine and international education where attendees can sample delicious cuisine from all around the world and learn about Cal Poly study abroad opportunities in those locations. More information about this event can be found on our "Taste of the World" webpage. If you'd like to get involved at this event, just email

4. Become a Welcome Ambassador

The International Welcome Ambassadors Program brings international and domestic Cal Poly students together to share their culture and develop friendships. International Welcome Ambassadors (IWAs) provide a support system to assist new international students with adapting to life in California. In return, IWAs get to learn about life in other countries, make many new friends, and create long-lasting relationships with people all around the globe. For more information, visit the International Student Programs page; to apply, contact (the application cycle opens in February/March each year).

5. Join a Cal Poly cultural organization

6. Find a language group or conversation table

If you want to continue speaking the language you studied while abroad, look into joining a language group in San Luis Obispo! This will give you an opportunity to meet other people in the community who want to practice their second language skills. 
  • WLC Conversation Tables: Check the World Languages & Cultures website for up-to-date information on language conversation tables happening around campus. These are informal meetups where Cal Poly students can practice their language skills. In the past, there have been conversation tables for Russian, Spanish, German, Vietnamese, and Italian!
  • WLC Language Club: WLC invites Cal Poly students of all language skills and cultural backgrounds to join us in an open and embracing environment to celebrate the sparkling variety of cultures on our campus and around the world.

7. Reach out to your program provider

Many of Cal Poly’s Partner Programs have opportunities for alumni, including being a campus ambassador for your program, sharing your stories, or getting a small grant to off-set the cost of hosting a campus event. For Cal Poly Global Programs, you can help with recruitment at the Study Abroad Fair, in information sessions, and through classroom visits.

8. Connect on Facebook

Join a Facebook group for your program and keep in touch with friends you met abroad! Many of our providers already have active groups on social media you can check out!