As in the U.S., you will find abroad that certain people or groups are more open to diversity than others. You may discover that some aspects of your identity become highlighted when you are abroad because they are unfamiliar to the local people; other characteristics may decrease in visibility if they are more common among the local population.
Students return from study abroad semesters with different feelings about the attitudes they encounter abroad. Some students feel relieved to be free from the cultural norms and expectations of the United States. Others find it more challenging to confront diversity issues in an unfamiliar culture. Occasionally, students may face racism and intolerance abroad, just as it is possible to experience racism and intolerance in the U.S.
The staff in the Office for Study Abroad strives to aid a student’s transition to a new country or back to campus. Our staff members come from a variety of backgrounds and collaborate with various departments to better serve various student populations. While we may not know what your experience will fully entail we can share our experiences in country or connect students with resources or alumni that can share their experiences to help with a student’s transition.
GW is a member of the Diversity Abroad Network! Check out Diversity Abroad's website for additional resources, scholarship information, and blogs from students currently abroad!
We encourage you to meet with your regional study abroad advisor if you have additional questions or concerns regarding ANY diversity issues.