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Race and Ethnicity

According to the Institute of International Education, 27.1% 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. OIP is 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's 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 these questions:

  • How will I be perceived in my host community?
  • How many students of color typically study on the programs I'm considering?
  • Will I experience discrimination in the country I study in? Who can I talk to 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 U.S.?
  • 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 my host country?
  • Is the situation in my host country 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 or ethnic relations? What protections are offered to ethnic or racial minorities?

Source: George Washington University’s Office for Study Abroad

What resources are available at Loyola?

Your Loyola Study Abroad Advisor can help you find more information about the country you plan to go to and connect you with other Loyola students 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, seeking to enhance the experience of all members of the Loyola community by cultivating culturally competent agents of social change.

What are some additional resources I can utilize?

All Abroad is a site for students, parents, faculty, and administrators interested in study abroad, which includes "What About Discrimination" resources.

Black Life China was created by a Fulbright scholar and is a resource for African Americans living or planning to live in China or anyone interested in the experiences of American minorities living abroad.

Diversity Abroad is an organization that provides resources on diversity abroad

IES Abroad has compiled race, ethnicity, and nationality resources to help prepare you and support you.

PLATO Project provides links to organizations, resources, and scholarships that support academic advancement for underrepresented groups.

Travel Noire is a website featuring tools and resources created by a global community of black travelers.

Want to find out more about possible funding opportunities? Check out our list of Scholarships for more resources on a variety of ways to help cut down the cost of study abroad.