• Student in Japan at tea ceremony
Center for Global Education

Black, Indigenous, & Students of Color Abroad

» Black, Indigenous, & Students of Color Abroad

Did you know that 31.7% of all U.S. students who study abroad identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC) (2022 IIE Open Doors Report)? Aspects of your identities may feel highlighted while abroad because of racial and ethnic cultural differences in the local community.

Studying abroad can be an opportunity to learn more about yourself and your identity in a global context. After reviewing steps to go abroad, practical considerations, and BIPOC student abroad stories, meet with your Global Education Advisor for additional questions and support.

Getting Started

Questions to Consider When Selecting a Program

The Center for Global Education can help you find a program that aligns with your needs, interests and considerations below:

  • What are the social attitudes towards my identity(ies) in my host country?
  • What are the differences between the racial/ethnic climates of my home & host country?
  • Is there any political unrest related to my identity(ies) in the country(ies) I will visit?
  • What are potential microaggressions or forms of prejudice or discrimination I may face? Moreover, how can I prepare to respond?
  • Where will I feel welcome, safe, & respected in country?
  • What are the demographics of the school I will be attending? What resources do they have in
    place to support me?
  • Are all of the hair & skin products I use available in my host country? How will I access them?
  • What perceptions do I have of my host country? How might my perceptions influence the way
    I interact abroad? Furthermore, how can I remain open to learning about my host culture?

Resources for Program Selection

BIPOC Chapman Student Stories Abroad

  • Expecting the Unexpected: Rosa Nguyen ‘21, Business Administration and Psychology double-major, participated in a fall 2019 semester abroad program in Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Study Abroad: Into the “Known” A Heritage-Seeker's Story: Lisa Matsui ‘21, Global Communication and World Languages major/Public Relations minor, participated in a spring 2019 semester abroad program in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Bringing Diversity to Prague: Maia Coffey ‘21, Public Relations and Advertising major/Production Design for Film minor, participated in a spring 2020 semester abroad program in Prague.
  • My Mediterranean Experience: Tiffany Yang ’21 participated in the summer ’19 travel course. She covers a spectrum of topics, including what she learned about her identity and the value she sees in Black, Indigenous, and Students of Color (BISOC) studying abroad.
  • Finding my Roots: Clio Brady ’20, Sociology major/ music minor participated in a semester abroad program The Chinese University Hong Kong in Fall 2018. She shares her study abroad story, how it changed her, tips for social media use while abroad and finally info on applying for study abroad scholarships.
Watch Viajes - Latinx Study Abroad Alumni Panel: hosted each year by the CGE to learn from Chapman Latinx students who have studied abroad. Contact us for the next event. Watch the 2021 alumni panel:


Student in front of village home in England
Adrián, '18, London Semester Abroad
Once abroad, BIPOC students represent their identities both as students and as members of their respective cultures whenever and wherever they go. Sometimes, they will be the only member of their community present, which will invariably lead to a much deeper appreciation of their culture in the long run.
Student in front of European palace
Kaitlyn '18, Dublin Summer Internship
I found myself encountering stares and the question, “Where do you come from?” As these were often presented in gentle curiosity, I found feelings of annoyance to be overcome by a push to reflect on my identity as an Asian American woman both in Dublin and at home. I’m thankful for my experience abroad for pushing me to delve deeper into my iden...
Student in front of London Bridge
Ciani '18, London Semester Abroad
By spending a semester in London, I developed a whole new appreciation for my identity as a Black woman.

Preparing to Go Abroad

Once you've been accepted into a program, the list of items below will help make sure you are prepared for your international experience.

  • Find someone who has spent time in your destination to get first-hand advice.
  • When considering safety, remember that the U.S. media often focuses on political and violent strife overseas rather than on the positive social developments and human warmth that are actually lived.
  • 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.
  • 6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Studying Abroad as an African American: An article by a study abroad student.
  • Black Girls Abroad: One woman shares her experiences abroad to help prepare others
  • Research hair care abroad in "Advice to My Curlfriends."
  • Invite your families to attend Vámonos Latinx Abroad Series - Information Session La Familia, a series of virtual events through which students can hear about study abroad opportunities at Chapman. Parents and families are also invited to a bilingual information session on studying abroad. Contact us for more information. 
  • To find communities through social media, you can follow @blackandabroad, @soulsociety, @runawayjuno

Study Abroad Scholarships  

Once you are accepted into a study abroad program, you can seek out and apply for scholarships to help support your international educational journey:

  • beGirl.world: (click on Scholarships) will award (2) $2,000 scholarships to black female college students who have been accepted to a study abroad program.
  • Diverse International Women Of Color Scholarship:intended to assist women of color who are exceptional in their studies and in need of financial assistance to study abroad. DIWC will award (5) $500 scholarships to women of color for a summer study abroad.

While Abroad

Once you are abroad, check in with program staff who are trained to help all students work through their adjustment and may have mental health support as well. 

You can always reach out to the CGE at globaled@chapman.edu if you need assistance or Public Safety in an emergency at (714) 997-6763. 

Additionally, we would love to get any photos or stories about your time abroad. We can share them with other students who are considering studying abroad.