Identities, Discrimination and Culture
Identity and forms of discrimination such as racism and sexism take different forms in different cultures. While abroad you may experience racism and discrimination in very different ways than you have experienced at home and this can often feel like the discrimination is worse than back home. Norms around gender and sexuality vary a lot from country to country. Sometimes the places with extreme differences (being a woman in Saudi Arabia) are easier to handle than more subtle differences (sexism in Italy). You may find that certain aspects of your identity become stronger while abroad (e.g. religious affiliation, national identity) while others may be diminished.
We recognize that different aspects of your identity may impact your study abroad experience and that the education abroad experience will differ for every student. Each student faces different barriers and unique challenges. Furthermore, how you identify in the United States may not be how you choose to identify abroad, and may not be how you are identified by your host culture. We encourage all students to reflect on the different aspects of their identity and consider how they may play a role in their study abroad experience.