Diversity And Identity Abroad
An important part of studying abroad is learning more about your host city and how identities may be understood and perceived within this location. We encouraged you to start to research some of the challenges and opportunities you may encounter, and plan ahead by identifying resources and people that can support you in making the most of your experience. The resources below offer some places to start, with brief descriptions of identity-based topics around the world.
- Connect with your campus's EAC/DRC
Mobility International USA : A non-profit organization dedicated to providing information and access for students with disabilities to study abroad and other related information.
- Travelers with Special Considerations/Traveling with Disabilities: Resources and information for traveling given by the Department of State
- Managing Physical Disability Abroad: Diversity Abroad article written by a student about their time abroad.
- Navigating London In a Wheelchair: A blog written by a student's about their personal experience.
Being a student of color, you may consider how your racial and ethnic identity shape your life experiences in the United States. When planning to study abroad, it is important to research your chosen country and learn how various groups are understood, perceived, and treated. We encourage you to utilize the links below as a place to start when considering where to study and how to best prepare yourself. We are also happy to connect you with an alumni who can share their experiences with you. We are excited to meet with you and support you in your study abroad experience.
- Allabroad.us: Website with a broad range of resources for students of color and general information about studying abroad.
- African American Students: Reasons for African American Students to Study Abroad & Possible Discrimination Issues for African American Students Abroad
- Specific Advice for African American Students: All Abroad page
- Asian/Pacific Islander American Students: 10 Reasons for APIA Students to Study Abroad & Possible Discrimination Issues for APIA Students Abroad
- Specific Advice for Asian/ Pacific Islander American Students: All Abroad page
- Latinx Students: 10 Reasons for Latinx Students to Study Abroad & Possible Discrimination Issues for Latinx Students Abroad
- Specific Advice for Hispanic/Latinx Students: All Abroad page
- Native American Students: 10 Reasons for Native American Students to study Abroad & Possible Discrimination Issues for Native American Students
- Specific Advice for Native American Students: All Abroad page
- Diversity Abroad : Diversity Abroad page with various articles for minority and students of color
As a first generation student, studying abroad may feel like an additional layer to your educational experience. However, studying abroad can enhance your learning experience and expose you to communities different than your own. We are here to fully support you in studying abroad. While you are planning your trip abroad, we recommend you visiting these resources below. We are excited to meet with you and support you in your study abroad experience.
- I'm First : An organization dedicated to supporting first generation students, various resources included here.
- "How to Figure Out Study Abroad as a First Gen College Student" : Article from I'm First.
- Personal Study Abroad Experience :Article/Blog written by a First Generation student
- Diversity Abroad : Diversity Abroad resources for First Generation Students abroad
Veterans and military affiliated SMCCCD students often choose to study abroad to gain further valuable experience and knowledge in the global setting. These new experiences may go hand in hand with previous experience veterans and military affiliated students may have. The Study Abroad team works closely with the Veterans Resource Centers and are excited to assist you with planning your time abroad. In the meantime, we suggest accessing these resources below while you plan your trip to study abroad. We are excited to meet with you and support you in your study abroad experience.
- Contact your college's VRC:
- NAFSA : NAFSA Post 9/11 Guidance
- California's Veterans Affairs : Webpage includes information about various educational resources for veterans
As a student who identifies as a non-traditional college student, you may be concerned about how competing priorities such as being a care-giver for a family member, a full job and having a family may impact your ability to study abroad. We are here to support you! SMCCCD encourages all students to pursue studying abroad and have found that non-traditional students have unique experiences while studying abroad. You may need to make additional accommodations for planning and preparing for your time away and we are here to help! Please visit our Study Abroad office to meet with an advisor to get started. While you are researching your options, the links below can provide additional supports. We are excited to meet with you and support you in your study abroad experience.
- Transitions Abroad: A guide to working and studying abroad
Transitions Abroad: An article about a student's experience abroad
- Diversity Abroad: Questions and tips to consider for non-traditional students
SMCCCD encourages all students to explore opportunities that will enhance their educational careers. However, due to the current political climate, SMCCCD does not recommend that DACA recipient students or undocumented students apply to study abroad. SMCCCD offers domestic and virtual internship/study abroad opportunities for all students. While we do not recommend studying abroad, we are here to support you in finding what options will work for your academic goals. We encourage you to connect with our Study Abroad office and your home campus's Dream Center to learn more about domestic options. We are excited to meet with you and support you in your study abroad experience.
- Visit your college's Dream Center
Studying abroad provides new perspectives and experiences to connect to the global community. As a student who identifies with the LGBTQI community, study abroad provides an opportunity to explore sexual orientation and gender in a global context. It is important to understand the ways in which your sexual orientation and/or gender expression may be key in your experiences abroad. Please visit the links below to explore various resources while planning your time abroad. We are excited to meet with you and support you in your study abroad experience.
- Department of State: Travel Information and additional resources for LGBTQI folks
- ILGA Maps: Sexual Orientation Laws around the world
- ILGA: Resource page with various maps and reports from countries around the world
- Outright International: Reports on human rights violations and LGBTQI individuals worldwide
- Fund for Education Abroad: Rainbow Scholarship
- National Center for Transgender Rights: Webpage for individual's rights and provides information on travel concerns including security, etc.
- Go Abroad: A guide for LGBTQI students to study abroad- free Ebook included on the page
- GLAAD: Resources for Transgender students
Religion, faith and spirituality plays a large role across the world including here in the United States. Depending on your religious, spiritual or non-religious views you may have wondered how that might impact your time abroad. Below are resources we encourage you to examine while planning your study abroad trip. We are excited to meet with you and support you in your study abroad experience.
Harvard's Pluralism Project Discusses various religions and how to actively engage in learning and dialogue about the diversity of religious beliefs.
International Religious Freedom Reports: “The annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom, also known as the International Religious Freedom Report, describes the status of religious freedom, government policies violating religious belief and practices of groups, religious denominations and individuals, and U.S. policies promoting religious freedom.” (state.gov., 2020).
Diversity Abroad: Page on religious diversity abroad
While all resources are encouraged to be used by all members of the SMCCCD community, this section's resources are primarily regarding cis-gendered women and men, resources specifically regarding gender-queer or transgender students are located on the LGBTQ+ resource page.
Depending on where you travel abroad, your experience may be different based on your gender. Women in particular may experience views and attitudes toward their gender that they may have not experienced here in the United States. There is no right or wrong way to act or be as a woman, however, it is important to understand the country’s culture, dress and attitudes toward different genders for your safety and protection. Below are resources to help you research gender abroad while you are planning. We are excited to meet with you and support you in your study abroad experience.
Department of State: Page dedicated to women travelers
Journey Woman: Travel resource written by and for solo women travelers
Diversity Abroad: Tips for women traveling abroad
On She Goes: Podcast and other articles/posts about women abroad (written and posted by women)
Transitions Abroad: Website with various links to resources for women traveling abroad
Mental Health and Safety Abroad is an important area for all students to think about and plan for before traveling. It is common for students to experience a period of adjustment or "culture shock" when studying abroad despite previous experiences traveling or being abroad. In order to best prepare yourself for a possible period of adjustment, and to prioritize your mental health, below are a list of some resources to support you while you prepare for your time abroad. We are excited to meet with you and support you in your study abroad experience.
- Contact your Campus's Health & Wellness Center for health care, personal counseling, health & wellness education and off-campus
- Travel Health and Safety: Study Abroad travel health and safety page
- Department of State: List of resources for safety abroad for travelers, check lists etc.
- Travel Advisories: Department of State travel advisories
If you have concerns about your mental health while abroad, speak with a counselor before traveling and come up with a plan for your mental health that works for you.
If you are taking medications, have a plan to make sure you adjust dosage for the time change and make sure they are allowed in the chosen country (some countries do not allow specific medication).
Stay in touch with family and friends by skype, facetime, zoom etc. to cope with homesickness and while adjusting to a new culture.