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Equity and Inclusion - Study Abroad Resources

Identity (gender, age, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, 1st generation college student, religion, ability, etc.) can shape your interaction with others and how you perceive those experiences. When you study abroad, a new cultural context can also change how you perceive your own identity and how others interact with you.

Our Commitment to Access, Equity, and Inclusion

2020 Alumni Group

USAC is committed to providing access to affordable, academically rigorous, and enriching cross-cultural learning abroad for all students to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to succeed in today’s global society. We celebrate diversity and value its impact on the study abroad experience of our students. We strive to increase access, inclusion, equity, and support for underrepresented student populations.

USAC Stands With #BLM

As you begin preparing to go abroad, research what other cultures' perspectives may be as it relates to your identity. Consider things such as your race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender expression, religion, and your socio-economic status. Think about your experiences in your every day life related to your culture and your identities here in the U.S. Your identities and how you express them may influence your experiences abroad.

Reflect on and research the following when preparing to study abroad and during your study abroad experience:

  • How will aspects of my identity be perceived abroad?
    • What stereotypes about my identity are there in the country I am going to?
    • Will I be a minority while abroad?
  • What stereotypes do I have about people from the country I am going to?
    • How did I come up with these stereotypes?
    • Are they accurate?
  • How much of my identity do I plan on sharing with others while abroad?
  • Are there cultural norms and/or laws that could affect my safety with regards to expressing my identity abroad?
  • Am I prepared to educate others about my identity who may not understand or be familiar?
  • What strategies do I have for interacting with others who may not support my identity? Who can I turn to for support?
  • How can I be an ally to others like me and others not like me?
  • What resources are available abroad related to my identity?
    • Research if you will have access to hair care/skin products abroad.
    • Transitioning students: consider how you will continue your HRT while abroad, and/or any other medically-related needs.
  • Talk to students with similar background who have already studied abroad.
    • Don’t know any? Ask USAC for a past student list!
  • If your parents aren’t supportive of your desire to study abroad, what resources are you taking advantage of in order to help them understand and support your decision?
  • If you are a DACA student, have you discussed your plans to study abroad with your lawyer and/or the Title IX Office at your home university?

Find a variety of resources below to help you prepare for your journey abroad:

Organization Details and Resource Information
Diversity Abroad: Destination Guides Identity-related information about varied locations
Diversity Abroad Diversity Abroad, a leader in increasing access in international education, provides resources for students from underrepresented identity groups
USAC Blog USAC blog articles on student identity abroad
International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) International LGBTQ+ organizations and resources
U.S. Department of State Travel tips for LGBTQ+ travelers
GlobalGayz GlobalGayz is a travel and culture website focused on LGBT-Gay life worldwide
NAFSA Rainbow Special Interest Group Resources for LGBTQ+ students studying abroad
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tips from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for travelers with disabilities
Mobility International USA (MIUSA) Resources for empowering people with disabilities internationally
Abroad with Disabilities (AWD) Resources for travelers with disabilities
OSAC Report: Traveling with Medication Tips for traveling with medication
Go Overseas What to Know About Studying Abroad as a Minority
Travel Noire Digital media company dedicated to serving traveling millennials of the African Diaspora
U.S. Department of State - Religious Freedoms Report on International Religious Freedom
The Pluralism Project Learn about different world religions
OSAC Report: Freedom to Practice 2019 report on freedom to practice religion in countries around the world
Kosher Travel Resources for Kosher travelers
Yeah That's Kosher Find Kosher restaurants around the world
Halal Travel Resources for Halal travelers
Happy Cow Find vegan restaurants around the world
Dairy Free Me Tips for travelers with dairy allergies or intollerances
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) Tips for traveling with food allergies
FARE food allergy chef cards Cards for communicating food allergies to restaurant staff in different languages