»Diversity and Access Abroad Resources

Chapman University encourages students from all backgrounds to partake in study abroad. As in the U.S., you will find that certain people or groups abroad are more open to diversity than others. Components of how you identify yourself become highlighted while abroad because they are unfamiliar to the local community; other characteristics may decrease in visibility if they are more common among the local population.

Students have returned from study abroad with mixed feelings about the attitudes they encountered abroad. Some students felt relieved to be free from the cultural norms and expectations of the U.S. Others find it more challenging to confront diversity issues in an unfamiliar culture. Occasionally, students have faced racism and intolerance abroad, just as it is possible to experience racism and intolerance in the U.S.  Search for blogs of study abroad students with similar backgrounds and identities so you can be more familiar with these topics and experiences.

Learn about how your host country views someone with your characteristics/needs what types of support exists in the host culture:

  • Buenos Aires study abroadOrganizations and support resources   
  • Laws
  • Norms/styles of behavior
  • Media
  • General attitudes toward your needs
  • Meeting places

Visit Cross Cultural Engagement to learn more about how Chapman University engages our community in fostering a campus environment that highly values personal dignity, diversity, equity, civility and global citizenship.  Those you meet in your host country such as your on-site program director, friends, students, and host families will be knowledgeable about the country and may be able to assist you with some concerns and needs as well.

Scholarships are available for students from diverse backgrounds.

Visit the NAFSA Resources for Supporting Diversity in Education Abroad as well as the resources below to help answer your questions and find support for diversity and access while you are abroad:

+-Students with Disabilities

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act are not enforced outside of the U.S. Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to disclose any physical or learning disability that requires accommodations to determine if the student’s needs can be met overseas.
  • Register with Chapman University’s Disability Services to help coordinate accommodations and services while you are abroad.
  • MIUSA: Mobility International USA: MIUSA's mission is to empower people with disabilities to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development. The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange offers, for supporting students with disabilities in going abroad, advice and referrals, training, tip sheets, disability resources and success stories.
  • CDC International Travelers with Disabilities: Helpful information for travelers with disabilities
  • Disability Travel and Recreation Resources
  • BestColleges.com: Resources for students with disabilities. Use the Resource section to find apps, websites, and software designed to help those with disabilities in the classroom, with their homework, and in the social situations students find on campus.
  • A World Awaits You: A journal on people with disabilities traveling with a purpose.
  • Passport to Possibilities: In this video, four people with disabilities share their experiences. Learn how the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, a project of MIUSA and U.S. Department of State, can help in preparations.

+-Mental Health Abroad

Students will encounter challenges and stressors when studying abroad such as leaving friends and family, experiencing cultural differences and possible recurrence of pre-existing conditions. Situations entailing a high level of stress can cause unusually strong emotional reactions and can interfere with students’ effective functioning abroad. Such reactions are normal responses to abnormal situations and are to be expected under the circumstances.

Students who seek support early on and use available resources are more likely to be successful abroad. Follow the steps below for psychological pre-planning before studying abroad, whether or not you have pre-existing mental health conditions:

  • Make an appointment with the Student Psychological Counseling Services before going abroad for a confidential mental health check-up and learn how to set goals, manage time, and cope more successfully with the challenges of study abroad.
  • Research if your medication(s) are legal in the country you are going to, what you need to know about transporting and/or obtaining your medications, and how to maintain your medication schedule while abroad.
  • Check what professional resources are available in your host country. Many study abroad programs can help you identify local resources such as professional counselors who speak English and enable you to obtain treatment abroad.
  • Disclose information directly with your study abroad advisors so that we can give you support and guidance to continue your experience abroad if psychological concerns arise.
  • Practice good self-care while abroad including adequate rest, healthy diet, exercise and moderate use of alcohol if you drink. 

Information from "Best Practices in Addressing Mental Health Issues Affecting Education Abroad Participants © Copyright 2006. NAFSA: Association of International Educators."

Mental Health Abroad -- Bureau of Consular Affairs: Traveling abroad can be stressful; create a workable plan for yourself.

NAFSA E-Publication: Learn about the best practices in addressing mental health issues that affect education abroad participants.

Her Story: Studying Abroad with a Mental Illness: A student shares her personal experience of studying abroad with a mental illness.

Dealing with Post-Study Abroad Depression: What is PSAD and how can you deal with it?

+-LGBTQIA Students

Questions you should ask yourself when choosing a location to study abroad:

  • What are the laws around sexual and gender identity in my host country?
  • Can I be out while abroad?
  • What does "out" look like in my host country?
  • What are the cultural norms for dating and friendship?

Helpful Links:

+-Students of Color

  • Racial & Ethnic Minority Students Abroad: When studying abroad the people you encounter may have different opinions about the U.S. Find out how to cope with these differences.
  • AllAbroad.us: Find answers to common questions about study abroad given by experienced mentors. Find group-specific advice relevant to racial diversity in study abroad within four subcategories—African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islander Americans, Hispanic/ Latino Americans, and Native Americans.
  • BlackLifeInChina.com: Connect directly to the lives and everyday experiences of black Americans living in China
  • DiversityAbroad.com: Articles from a diverse group of students who went abroad. Learn about the benefits of going abroad and the tools to get you there.
  • The World is in Your Hands Student Guide: African Americans Speak Out and Share Their International Experiences: This booklet was produced by African American students who studied abroad and interned in the Study Abroad Office at the University of Pittsburgh. African American students who have studied abroad were asked to express their honest views of their experiences.
  • Top 10 Reasons for African-American Students to Go Abroad: TransitionsAbroad.com outlines ten reasons African-American should study abroad and information relating to the myths associated with study abroad.

+-Students Who Identify as Women

  • Women Abroad: How will your host country's culture act and feel towards Women?
  • Transitions Abroad: Publication that welcomes women-specific travel resources and travel related everything. Find Women Travel Advisors and Women Travel Reports.
  • Journey Woman.com: A travel resource just for women. Includes articles designed to inspire you to travel safely and well.
  • Women Travel Tips: Encounter words of wisdom from a multitude of experienced women travelers with useful articles.
  • Her Own Way: A Woman's Safe-travel Guide

+-Students Who are DACA or Undocumented

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and Undocumented students must seek counsel from an experienced U.S. immigration attorney before you plan any travel outside the U.S.  Laws can change at any time and DACA and Undocumented students have a potential risk of not being able to return to the U.S. if you leave. View the resources below:

If you are not able to study internationally, you can view our domestic programs such as the Washington Semester Program or domestic Travel Courses during Interterm or summer.

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