Identities Abroad and Away

UC Santa Cruz Study Abroad is committed to inclusion and equity in our various program options as well as striving to make everyone’s experiences abroad enriching, positive, and safe.

Studying abroad and away can present students with rewarding lifelong experiences that can challenge perceptions of identity. We tend to define ourselves using different features of our personalities, backgrounds, and physical appearance. Often identifying with several groups at once, we use these characteristics to distinguish ourselves as individuals and help us understand how we entwine in the larger context of American culture. When preparing yourself to be immersed in another culture, it is important to consider all the different ways that you identify as an individual, recognizing how your identity might be perceived abroad and away as well as how you want to present yourself to your host community.

Consider and anticipate the possible challenges you might face. For example, if your major identifying characteristic at home is race, it may surprise you that the people around you while you are abroad or away could find your nationality (perhaps US citizen) to be more significant. What rights do Queer people have in your host country? Will you be a minority or part of the majority abroad?

Use the links on the left to navigate sections based on your unique identity.

You can visit travel.state.gov to learn more about travel warnings, visa requirements, and local laws. 

Project for Learning Abroad, Training, and Outreach (PLATO) has useful resources for scholarships and information to support underrepresented students in study abroad. Visit globaled.us to learn more.

For more information about identities abroad and away, please see this Will I Fit Abroad? Social Identities and Things to Consider video produced by ISA and UCEAP.

Diversity Abroad

Diversity Abroad is an organization founded in 2006 with a simple vision, that the next generation of young people from traditionally marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds be equipped with the skills, experiences and networks to thrive - personally, academically, and professionally - in our 21st century interconnected world and global workforce. Diversity Abroad is driven by this vision and partner with over 300 colleges and universities, companies, and government agencies throughout the world to impact the lives of thousands of young people every year.

Since its inception, Diversity Abroad, among other activities, has directly connected with thousands of students on hundreds of high school and college campuses, secured over $1million in scholarship funds, and provided education professionals and faculty with professional learning opportunities, all in an effort to realize its vision.

For more information about Diversity Abroad, please see this Diversity Abroad: Unlocking the World and Connecting You to Opportunity video produced by Diversity Abroad and UC Riverside.