Diversity & Inclusion While Abroad

Attitudes, perceptions and experiences related to diversity can vary outside of the U.S., and students are sometimes concerned about how their identities (e.g. race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation) might be perceived in their host country.

While abroad, students may face challenges associated with having a documented disability, experiences based on ethnicity and race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and other identities.  For some students, studying abroad may be the first time one is experiencing what is it like to be in an underrepresented group. Understanding cultural and geographic practices and perceptions of diversity, inclusion, and acceptance is an important part of the program selection process and will also help you better prepare for the new culture in which you will be living. Sites like Diversity Abroad and the U.S. Department of State can help you as you conduct your own research.  

Diversity Issues in Study Abroad is a collection of quotes from Brown University students about their experiences abroad. We invite you to read this insightful collection of how identities intersect while abroad and encourage you to continue exploring the available resources in the sections that follow. 

Disabilities Abroad

Advance planning is essential to a successful experience for students with a documented disability. Prior to selecting a study abroad program, students should discuss their abroad plans with the Office of Accessibility Resources as well as meet with an International Programs Advisor to review program options.

  • Disability Travel and Recreation Resources: Includes information about the following topics:  Travel Planning, destinations, transportation, air travel, camps for children and books to buy.
  • Diversity Abroad: Students with Disabilities Abroad
  • Mobility International: Mobility International is a U.S.-based national non-profit organization.  The mission of Mobility International USA (MIUSA) is to empower people with disabilities around the world through international exchange, information, technical assistance and training, and to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in international exchange and development programs. 
  • Students Abroad: U.S. Department of State on disabilities abroad.  

Ethnicity & Race

Conversations about and experiences with race and ethnicity in the United States may be very different from where you will be studying. It is important to have a general understanding about the region or country’s history, political climate, and even religious identities in order to better understand issues of race and ethnicity and the ways in which your own racial or ethnic background may be perceived.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (GLBTQ)

First Generation


Women Travelers

Gender and gender issues is an important part of our experiences. Each country may have different approaches to understanding gender, and gender roles can be influenced by factors such as geography, socialization, expectations, history, and culture. It is important to develop a general understanding of ways in which gender and gender roles are discussed and experienced. 

  • CIEE’s Women: What You Need to Know Abroad Pamphlet
  • Diversity Abroad: Women Abroad
  • Her Own Way
    This publication is filled with practical tips specifically of interest to the female traveler. (from the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade)
  • Journey Woman
    Travel tips geared toward women, including everything from personal travel stories to what is appropriate clothing styles based on geographic location, cultural, and religious practices, etc., in the host country.
  • R.A.D. Rape Aggression Defense Program at Stonehill
  • Bystander Intervention Training at Stonehill - learn more about the culture of sexual assault and how to safely help/intervene to help prevent this, and other negative behaviors, on campus and abroad. 
  • Students Abroad: U.S. Department of State on women traveling abroad.  
  • Women Travel Portal:  A portal on the Transitions Abroad web site specifically for women.