Race and Ethnicity Abroad
According to the Institute of International Education, 27.1 percent of those who studied abroad during the 2014/15 academic year identified as U.S. racial minorities. Common concerns held by this population include perception of race in host country, personal safety, and financial burdens. We are committed to making study abroad accessible to underrepresented students and providing resources to ensure that you can make informed decisions throughout the study abroad process. As one Loyola study abroad returnee said, “if everyone else is able to study abroad, then so are you.”
As you start your study abroad journey, it is important to reflect on how race or ethnicity may be experienced, viewed, and understood differently abroad. By starting these conversations early, you can develop a realistic understanding of how your identity may affect time spent abroad in various locations.
To help facilitate conversations based on race and ethnicity abroad, consider the following questions*:
- How will I be perceived in my host community?
- How many students of color typically study on the programs I am considering?
- Will I experience discrimination in the country I study in? Who can I talk to about it if I do?
- Where do people of my race/ethnicity fit into my host country’s society? Am I likely to be a target of racism/classism, or am I going to be treated the same way in my host country as I am in the US?
- What are the cultural norms of my host country? Are there religious/cultural institutions or rituals that they adhere to?
- What is the history of ethnic or racial tension in the country? Is the situation currently hostile to members of a minority race, majority race, or particular ethnicity or religion?
- Are issues of racism/ethnic discrimination influenced by immigration in my host country? How do politicized immigration concerns fuel racial tensions? What is the character of immigrant communities?
- Are there laws in the host country governing race relations? Ethnic relations? What protections are offered to ethnic or racial minorities?
Your LUC Study Abroad Advisor: Can help you find more information about the country you plan to go to and connect you with LUC peers who have studied in that country before. Additionally, program evaluations available in the office are a good way to learn what former students have to say about your host country and what you may encounter abroad.
Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs: Facilitates intentional reflection of the intersections of identities and critical social analysis of systems of privilege and oppression, SDMA seeks to enhance the experience of all members of the Loyola community by cultivating culturally competent agents of social change.
Travel Noire: A website featuring tools and resources created by a global community of black travelers.
Diversity Abroad: An organization that provides resources on diversity abroad, including materials specific to race and ethnicity.
All Abroad: What About Discrimination Abroad? Articles on the differing experiences of discrimination abroad for African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander-American, Latino/Hispanic-American and Native American students.
Black Life China: Black Life China was initially launched as a Fulbright research project to voice and share the experiences of black Americans in China in the most transparent and efficient way possible. However overtime, it has grown into a multimedia clearing house and the leading source on the black experience in China.
IES Abroad Diversity: Diversity resources for IES programs including past student perspectives, scholarship opportunities, a student guide, country-specific resources and contact information for the IES Diversity Coordinator.
NAFSA Diversity Resource Page: NAFSA: Association of International Educators advances public policies promoting international education and endorses critical, public discourse on the valuation and import of international education. This particular page features resources, organized by category, that address diversity and underrepresentation in education abroad.
Columbia University: "Reflections of Asian-American Students" Quotes from Asian-Americans students who studied abroad in a European or Asian country.
PLATO Project: This website collects resources for Native American students, Latinx/Chicanx students, Asian/Pacific Islander students, African Diaspora Students.