Diversity and Inclusion in Study Abroad
The Office of Programs Abroad seeks to ensure that our study-abroad participants
represent the diverse student population here at Tufts. Every student possesses a unique
set of skills, life experiences, and perspectives that can enhance the study-abroad experience
not only for them but also for other students on their program as well as for their host communities.
Likewise, every student will have different types of challenges in preparing for and navigating the
study-abroad experience. An individual's experience will be unique to him or her, depending upon his or her individual
identity and cultural background in relation to the 'dominant' culture of their host community. Sometimes,
the general level of familiarity with and sensitivity to issues of diversity and difference within one's host community might
be unexpected. In some cultures that have more ethnically and racially homogenous populations, there may
be very little familiarity with diversity; students may encounter or witness both overt and
covert manifestations of this circumstance. In general, such cultural attitudes and behaviors arise primarily
from a lack of experience with people of diverse backgrounds and not necessarily from malevolent intent.
While it can be helpful to remember that this is usually the case, encountering misunderstanding
and insensitivity can still be quite disconcerting for some students.
In some cases, students who have lived most of their
lives as part of the 'dominant' culture of their home
community will experience being a member of the
'non-dominant' culture within their host community; in
other cases, students who have lived most of their lives
as part of the 'non-dominant' culture of their home
community will experience being (or appearing to be) a
member of the 'dominant' culture within their host
community. Or, in other cases, students will experience
being part of another 'non-dominant' culture different
from the one within which they have lived most of their
lives. In all cases, however, there is a likelihood that
students will find that certain aspects of their unique
identities will be challenged by and through the course
of the study-abroad experience, and some of the ways in
which these aspects are challenged will vary depending
upon their host community. Partly because of these
challenges, students often find that study abroad is a
unique and rewarding opportunity to explore personal
identity and to gain a more complex understanding of
what it means to be a global citizen.
Below are a few links to resources and articles that may help to prepare students of all backgrounds
for the transition to the new social and cultural milieu of their study-abroad host community.
General online resources:
Diversity Abroad: with
articles about various issues of diversity
of Denver's Resources on Diversity and Study Abroad- a very useful page addressing the experiences and unique
considerations of specifc student populations and study abroad
Access International Education
Online resources for students of color:
Racial and Ethnic Minority Students Abroad
Online resources for students with disabilities:
'Going Abroad: A Guide for Americans with Disabilities'
Online resources for LGBTQI students:
NAFSA's Rainbow Special Interest Group: Student Resources
International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association
The U.S. State Department's passport information for
Tufts University and the Office of Programs Abroad is not responsible for
the content or accuracy of information found on external websites.