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, please complete Module 2 of Dr. Bruce LaBrack's "What's Up with Culture" online tutorial. Please be aware of the Ten top Immediate Reentry Challenges by Dr. Bruce LaBrack.

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:
    • Model United Nations
    • La Familia Latina
    • ACME (Asian Cultural and Media Experience)
    • International Awareness Club
    • Write articles for NeoVox (SUNY Cortland's award-winning international college student magazine) 

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

International Welcome (Back) Receptions

In the Fall of 2019, the International Programs Office began hosting a welcome (back) reception each semester 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.

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.

To further honor our students, we began holding an international graduation sash 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)

Spring 2023: Sash orders can be placed online directly through Vision Wear. You can select up to three country flags for your international graduation sash. More details to follow!

Spring 2019 Graduation Sash Ceremony

Spring 2020 International Graduation Sash Contest/Profiles