Student Identities in Study Abroad

Goucher College is committed to providing study abroad programs that meet the needs and interests of our diverse population of students. The Office of International Studies now partners with Diversity Abroad, and we offer confidential advising for students who have questions and concerns about study abroad relating to personal identity. We encourage all students to visit the following sites and speak with an OIS advisor to learn more about personal identity and study abroad. The best thing you can do if you're concerned about your own diversity while studying abroad is to research your host country and familiarize yourself with the country's culture, history, and laws.

Racial & Ethnic Concerns

Racism, unfortunately, is something that anyone may encounter all around the world. However, this should not prevent anyone from going abroad. Remember, different attitudes exist wherever you go regardless of your ethnic or racial background. Do your research on your host country.

Being Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgendered Abroad

Be aware that the places you visit can be more or less liberal than what you are used to at home. Laws and attitudes toward sexual orientation and different lifestyles vary from country to country. For example, in some countries, it is a serious crime to be gay; however, in the Netherlands, gay marriage is legal. The best thing you can do is to thoroughly research your host country before leaving.

Students with Physical or Learning Differences

In the wise words of Jennifer from the University of Minnesota, "Don't expect anything, just be prepared to react to everything." Some countries or host universities will not recognize learning or physical differences nor have the capacity to accomodate them as well as U.S. universities - however, some will. Rather than look at challenges to mobility or learning as a loss of independence, try to see challenges as you responding to and adapting to the host culture. Don't forget that you are studying abroad to experience something different.

Useful Resources