Returnee Events and Traditions

Welcome Back, Study Abroad Students!

The International Programs Office hopes you had a wonderful, rewarding experience abroad.  Now that you are back, you may be interested in resources for returning study abroad students. Check out Module 2 of Dr. Bruce LaBrack's "What's Up with Culture" online tutorial and Dr. LaBrack's Ten top Immediate Reentry Challenges. 

Complete the Online Evaluation for your Program: Please take the time to complete our online evaluation of your program. Your feedback is essential so that we may maintain and further improve upon the quality of our international programs. We believe that by completing this evaluation it will also serve to help you reflect upon your experience. 

A few notes about the online evaluation:

  • Please check your email for the link to the online evaluation. This will be sent to you once your program finishes.
  • You will need to set up a login and password to enter the evaluation. This is so you can re-login to finish the survey at a later date/time.
  • You will be forwarded to the page you were at when you exited. 
  • To leave the evaluation at any point just close out of your browser. To reenter the survey, simply click on the link again.
  • Questions marked with a red asterisks * are mandatory- only a few questions are mandatory, most are optional.
  • The majority of questions are yes/no or multiple choice. There are many places throughout the evaluation for optional additional comments.
  • Total time for the evaluation is between 10- 25 minutes depending on the amount of additional comments provided.
  • You may only complete the evaluation only once.

Thank you in advance for your help in assuring quality programming for future participants!

Also, we welcome you to become involved in any of the following international on-campus organizations:

  • Become a peer mentor to another student going abroad. Interested students can send an email to
  • Become a Study Abroad Peer Advisor:  you will be trained by International Programs staff to help you develop presentation skills. Then, you will visit SUNY Cortland classes to promote our numerous study abroad programs and to share your unique experience abroad with other interested students. Take a look at the Study Abroad Peer Advisors Internship Program Page to apply.
  •  SUNY Cortland's Conversation Partners Program (see below for more information)
  • Visit the list of Active Clubs and Organizations for more information on:
    • International Club
    • La Familia Latina
    • Caribbean Student Association
    • Pan-African Student Association 

Need a transcript to document your experience abroad? Please contact SUNY Cortland's Registrar's Office

International Welcome (Back) Receptions

Every semester, the International Programs Office hosts a welcome (back) reception for all new students and those students returning from study abroad programs. This event helps to inform students about international program opportunities and provides an opportunity for international and domestic students to get to know each other. It also allows our students to interact with various staff and faculty from across the campus whose work takes an international focus.

Typically held at the end of the first week of classes, this event features music, a photo booth, international foods, and activities, such as a framed cork board map where students can stick a pin into where they are from (international students), where they studied abroad (study abroad students) or where they would like to travel (any student).

These events will be advertised to the campus community in the weeks leading up to the start of the semester via email, social media, and our website. If you have specific questions about the International Welcome (Back) Receptions, please contact the IPO at

Please see the gallery below for photos from our last few receptions.

Fall 2019 - reception group photo

View the Welcome (Back) Reception photo gallery

International Graduations Sashes and Ceremony

The International Programs Office wants to honor your international experience, whether it be studying abroad, as an international student studying at SUNY Cortland, or to honor your cultural or national heritage. To this end, we offer students the opportunity to purchase a flag sash to wear at graduation, featuring the SUNY Cortland logo and up to three different national flags on the other. The IPO partners with a company called Vision Wear to create the sashes. Students are able to purchase the sashes at a drastically reduced rate thanks to a CAS Grant in the spring semester prior to graduation.

We are happy to announce that this year we will once again host a graduation sash ceremony. We began holding this ceremony in 2019. The ceremony involves remarks from the IPO, the President of SUNY Cortland, and student representatives, along with photos from students’ experiences. (See images from the 2019 ceremony below)  Due to COVID, the ceremony was unable to happen in 2020 and 2021, but we were still able to honor our students via photo submissions and graduate profiles on our social media. (See graduate profiles gallery below). Save the date for this year's International Sash Ceremony on Thursday May 9 at 3p.m. More details to follow.

Spring 2024: Sash orders can be placed online directly through Vision Wear. You can select up to three country flags for your international graduation sash. After designing your sash, enter the code CORTLANDSPRING2024 at checkout to receive $30 off.  You must place the order using your email. Orders must be placed by April 18 at midnight and all sashes will be shipped to the International Programs Office for pick up the week of May 6.  

Spring 2019 Graduation Sash Ceremony

Sash recipients on the steps of Old Main

View the Graduation Sash Ceremony photo gallery