Consider your Identities
A student’s identity should be factored into study abroad planning. The traditions, customs, laws, religious norms, social norms, available resources, gender roles, disability services, etc. of any given country or culture can challenge our own identity characteristics and needs. A good resource: www.diversityabroad.com and www.miusa.org
- LGBTQ: What do I need to know to navigate my LGBTQ identity in the host country? Will I be out, or not so much? (Evergreen Resource)
- Students of Color: What can I expect as I navigate issues of diversity, racism, discrimination, or even blending in as part of the majority group in my host country?
- Heritage Seeking: I am returning to my family’s culture of origin. What are my expectations? Are they realistic?
- Disability: What are the attitudes toward those with disabilities? What levels of service are available?
- Faith Background: How will I navigate my faith tradition, atheism, etc. in a different or more conservative host culture?
- Transgender: How does the host culture support my identity? What barriers might I face? Can I access health services I may need?
- Women: Are there more traditional or conservative gender roles to consider? What social boundaries do I need to be aware of, even if I don’t subscribe to them?