- Can I negotiate my own personal values compare with my host country’s attitudes about socially accepted identity roles for time abroad?
- Where do people of my race/ethnicity fit into my host country’s society? Am I likely to be a target of racism, or am I going to be treated the same way in my host country as I am in the US?
- How will I reflect on my own class status as I navigate new class structures in new environments?
- What is the history of ethnic or racial tension in the country? Is the situation currently hostile to members of a minority race, majority race, or particular ethnicity or religion?
- Are issues of racism/ethnic discrimination influenced by immigration in my host country? How do politicized immigration concerns fuel racial tensions? What is the character of immigrant communities?
- Does your ability to be LGBTQ and out in the United States conflict with your host country's religious or cultural values and traditions?
- Does your study abroad program offer LGBTQ friendly housing?
- What are the society’s perceptions and expectations for men, women and transgender individuals in my host country?
- Are there safety considerations that LGBTQ individuals should be aware of?
- Are there differences in political and social power based on gender?
- How can I explain to my family and friends that a study abroad experience can contribute to
achievementof my academic and career goals?
- How can I let my family and friends know that it is safe to travel abroad?
- Since no one in my family has ever studied abroad, who can help me check to see that I am on the right track as I plan?
- Will my disability affect which programs I consider and how will I plan ahead to manage my condition before going abroad?
- What barriers might I encounter (both in planning to go abroad, and while abroad
) ,and how will I overcome them?
Diversity and Identity
How do other countries consider issues of diversity, identity, inclusion and equity within their own cultural framework? How do I leverage the skills I’ve already built in adjusting to new environments to the study abroad context? In what ways does gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, and other social identities influence your time abroad? How accessible are foreign countries to differently abled individuals? What will it be like to explain your goal to study off-campus to your parents when you are a first-generation college student? How will economic class and privilege play into the way in which I navigate my study off-campus experience?
Navigating social identities while studying abroad can be simultaneously challenging and incredibly meaningful, providing opportunities for cultural exchange and learning. One of our office’s guiding principles is that students should feel supported while considering and participating in off-campus opportunities as it relates to individual identity. Diversity, identity, and inclusion likely play a role in how you experience Bowdoin. Likewise, these issues will also impact how you navigate and experience off-campus study in new and different. Understanding local cultural norms considering questions about how diversity and identity are addressed in new contexts can be a significant part of your off-campus experience.
Diversity Abroad: This non-profit organization works to increase the visibility of underrepresented students to participate in global opportunities including study abroad. Their Diversity Guide to Study Abroad provides resources and information to students as they embark on their own study abroad journey. The organization also provides specific information as it relates to race and ethnicity, economically disadvantaged, first-generation, LGBTQ, women, students with disabilities, among other groups.
Mobility International (MIUSA): This non-profit organization works to advancing disability rights and leadership on a global scale, including access to study abroad programs. MIUSA provides resources for disability-related questions to prepare individuals for international study, work, volunteer or teaching programs.
Rainbow Special Interest Group (SIG): The mission of the Rainbow SIG is to provide resources for students studying abroad who identify as LGBTQ+. The Student Guide to Study Abroad may be especially helpful!
Center for Global Education (PLATO): The Project for Learning Abroad, Training and Outreach (PLATO) is an initiative to address the needs of underrepresented students that study abroad. Their resources section may be particularly helpful.
A Roadmap for the Queer Study Abroad Experience
The Danger of a Single Story (TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
Abroad With Disabilities (Facebook Group)