BIPOC Students Abroad

During your study abroad experience, you may spend time in a country that is either more or less diverse than a place like Iowa. It is possible that your time abroad can open unique opportunities to connect with your racial or ethnic identity, but there is also the chance that you may face discrimination and uncomfortable situations. The Study Abroad Center (SAC) wants to support you and provide resources to help you feel more comfortable and safe during your study abroad experience. Just like in the U.S., there is discrimination against marginalized groups or people considered as the ‘other’ no matter where you go. Whether big or small situations, forms of discrimination like ignorant remarks or inappropriate questions can lead to higher levels of stress. The Center for Multicultural Education (CME) is a great place to go for students of color to connect and discuss advice that others may have for traveling internationally. This safe space on campus can be an impactful resource to build up your support network and prepare you for studying abroad.

Questions to Consider

  • What are some common perceptions and stereotypes about my race or ethnicity in this country?

  • Are there prominent communities of immigrants in this country? How are they treated by local residents?

  • How will I react if I encounter racism or discrimination abroad?

  • What is this country’s history of colonization, race relations, and connections between power and privilege?

  • How will my racial or ethnic identity shape my international experience?

  • What slang or language used in this country could be considered offensive?

  • What resources are available abroad to support students of color? Are there spaces for me to connect with others who can relate to my experiences?

  • Are there anti-discriminatory laws or policies regarding race and ethnicity in this country? How could this impact your individual experience?