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Racial & Ethnic Identity

 The program had such a wide variety of students attending the program. There was also so many different clubs to promote inclusiveness, and the different clubs were always hosting events that the entire program of students were invited to via facebook. — Denmark, Spring 2017

Cultures and countries vary widely in terms of how race and ethnic identities are defined and understood. Learn about your host countries racial and ethnic composition and the history of racial and ethnic relations in that country. Consider how your own race and ethnicity will be perceived abroad.

Importance of Education abroad

  • At Education Abroad we are committed to sending ambassadors across the world that accurately represent the tapestry of diversity that exists in the US.
  • Your stories matter and should be shared throughout the globe.
  • As someone who's already living and navigating multiple cultures, you may serve as a leader for your fellow travelers.
  • You may dispel stereotypes that have been exported overseas.

Benefits to Studying Abroad

  • Increase your international perspective along with independence and self-confidence.
  • Learn about and engage in other communities with different racial contexts.
  • Follow in the steps of accomplished people like Maya Angelou, Angela Davis, Ben Nighthorse-Campbell, and many others who were greatly influenced by an education abroad experience.
  • Explore your heritage, or share that heritage with a new culture entirely. 


Cultures and countries vary widely in terms of how race and ethnic identities are defined and understood. In the U.S. you might be identified by your race/ethnicity, but abroad, you may be identified first as a U.S.-American. In some locations your race/ethnicity may be considered by others as part of your identity and in other locations it may not be considered by others part of your identity.

The resources below can help you learn more about cultural norms and other considerations regarding your education abroad experience.


  • On She GoesA digital travel magazine for, and by women of color.  
  • a website advocating for increased participation and diversity in education abroad. There are sections for students, parents and faculty/staff. It also includes a "Mentor" section with video clips of mentors who have answered questions about studying abroad as well as an extensive listing of scholarship opportunities.
  • DiversityAbroad: a website dedicated to helping students of color go abroad; includes advice, scholarship information, student testimonials, and more.
  • Hispanic College Fund: Various scholarships available.
  • Tips for Traveling in China as a Black person from Diversity Abroad
  • PLATO: Project for Learning Abroad, Training & Outreach: a project addressing some of the issues and challenges ethnicity may play in the education abroad experience for underrepresented students, and linking to additional information, resources, and scholarships; this site includes the top 10 reasons for students from African-American, Hispanic-American, Native American, and Asian/Pacific Islander Backgrounds to go abroad.

CU Boulder Resources

  • Center for Inclusion and Social Change: They help support the retention of students from multiple identities by empowering student growth and development, they cultivate a sense of belonging by nurturing innovative spaces that educate and celebrate diverse communities. and help foster campuswide collaborations that provide high-impact transformative experiences to enhance cultural competencies
  • For scholarship information, visit our Scholarships page. 
  • Education abroad's access and inclusion coordinator can answer any questions that you may have. 

You are welcome to contact an education abroad advisor with any questions, concerns, or anything else. If financing education abroad is a concern, see Finances and speak with an advisor. In addition, many programs offer scholarships, some specifically for underrepresented students.

Selected Readings 

We look forward to meeting with you to discuss your goals and plans. See Get Started for your next steps!

Photo by Nathan Dumlao, Unsplash
Last Updated July 2023