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Student Identities Abroad

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UTA Study Abroad is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all students, and to encourage students from a diverse range of backgrounds and identities to purse study abroad opportunities.

Just as at home, personal identity can play a large role in a student's study abroad experience. It may be the first time you are experiencing being a visible racial or ethnic minority, or you may find you are receiving attention from others that you aren't used to - positive or negative. By preparing ahead of time, and understanding the way in which your identities may be perceived in your host country you can better prepare yourself for these kind of situations.

It's also important to consider that the ways in which you identify yourself, and the identities that are most important to you, may not be the way others see you in your host country. For example, as a student studying abroad from an American university you may be seen first and foremost as an American - regardless of whether national identity is particularly important to you in your day to day life. While this can be understandably frustrating, it can also foster opportunities for learning and dialogue with people from different cultures. 

What are your identities?

 As you are making decisions related to study abroad, we encourage you to consider the ways in which you see yourself as a member of multiple diverse and intersecting communities, and the impact this may have on your time abroad. This can include more visible identities such as race/ethnicity or age, as well as identities that are less observable such as sexuality, religion, or health.

It's a good idea to research attitudes and perceptions towards diversity in your program location, and to understand how these viewpoints may differ from what you are used to in the U.S. Once you better understand how your host country may perceive or react to your personal identities, think about how this may impact your study abroad experience.

Resources
The UTA Study Abroad Office has prepared resources and guiding questions to help you as you consider and explore your identities as they relate to studying abroad. We also recommend you meet with one of our advisors to help answer and address any questions you might have.
 

Diversity Abroad is a great resource for students from many different backgrounds. They have information on preparing to go abroad, living abroad, and resources for when you come home.