The 9th San Francisco Bay Area Lessons from Abroad Conference for Study Abroad Returnees was hosted at Skyline College on Saturday, November 11.

The Lessons from Abroad Conference offered approximately 35 students and faculty the opportunity to reflect on their international experiences, connect with other study abroad alumni, network and gather resources from internationally-focused organizations, as well as gain important skills and information on future career and academic paths.

The conference attracted volunteers from Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) graduate students interested in getting more involved, giving back to the field of international education and networking with like-minded professionals. The SMCCCD Study Abroad Program generously sponsored the conference registration fee for 12 district study abroad program alumni, applicants and interns from Skyline College’s Bay Area Entrepreneur Center.

We were honored to host the Department of State Northwest Region Diplomat in Residence, Dorothy Ngutter, as Keynote Speaker who shared her perspective on cultural and international experiences, and information about starting a career in the foreign service. Diplomat Ngutter was impressed with the students’ level of engagement and took the time to speak more in depth with interested students after the conclusion of her keynote address.

The Global Conference session, Rock Your LinkedIn Profile, presented by Heather Frank, Global LinkedIn Recruiting Coordinator, gave students a chance to learn more about LinkedIn and it’s career exploration and networking features. Student attendees thoroughly appreciated the session with comments like “the session really taught me how to update my profile to connect with potential employers” and “I learned that the LinkedIn profile is essentially (if not more) important than a resume.”

The Lessons from Abroad Opportunities Fair offered student attendees a chance to connect with internationally related programs and organizations offering post study abroad opportunities such as teach, work, intern and graduate schools abroad. Four various presentations were offered during two sessions and students were invited to select from: Professional Skills and Interviewing Secrets: Showcasing Your Experience Abroad; Finding and Funding an International Graduate Program or Research Opportunity; Teach Abroad: It’s Not Just for Future Teachers!; and Starting an International Career and Strategies for Finding Jobs Abroad.

Lessons from Abroad Inc. is a volunteer managed and staffed 501c3 non-profit organization. To learn more about the history and background of the Lessons from Abroad Conferences, please visit online, Lessons from Abroad. To learn more about the San Francisco Bay Area Lessons from Abroad Conference, please visit To get more information about opportunities to get involved, please email

Article written by Marisa Thigpen| Photo by Roger Marcelo


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