Identities

UC Santa Cruz Global Learning is committed to inclusion and equity in our various program options as well as striving to make everyone’s experiences abroad enriching, positive, and safe.

Studying abroad and away can present students with rewarding lifelong experiences that can challenge perceptions of identity. We tend to define ourselves using different features of our personalities, backgrounds, and physical appearance. Often identifying with several groups at once, we use these characteristics to distinguish ourselves as individuals and help us understand how we entwine in the larger context of American culture. When preparing yourself to be immersed in another culture, it is important to consider all the different ways that you identify as an individual, recognizing how your identity might be perceived abroad and away as well as how you want to present yourself to your host community.

Consider and anticipate the possible challenges you might face. For example, if your major identifying characteristic at home is race, it may surprise you that the people around you, while you are abroad or away, could find your nationality (perhaps US citizen) to be more significant. What rights do Queer people have in your host country? Will you be a minority or part of the majority abroad?

Use the links on the right to navigate sections based on your unique identity.

You can visit travel.state.gov to learn more about travel warnings, visa requirements, and local laws. 

You can visit Diversity Abroad’s Culture and Diversity Destination Guides for more information on diversity and inclusion climate abroad.

Diversity Abroad

Diversity Abroad is an organization founded in 2006 with a simple vision, that the next generation of young people from traditionally marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds be equipped with the skills, experiences, and networks to thrive – personally, academically, and professionally – in our 21st century interconnected world and global workforce. Visit their website to get connected with opportunities, articles, resources, events, and community.

Additional Resources

Exploring Your Unique Identities Abroad and Away Video– This video explores how the many varied aspects of identity can impact your experience on a program in another culture.

Exploring Your Identity Abroad Series– This series is a collaborative effort between all the University of California campuses and UCEAP to provide identity-based study abroad workshops, panels, and information sessions for students across the UC system.

Will I Fit Abroad? Social Identities and Things to Consider– This video (video produced by ISA and UCEAP) shares real stories and strategies for all students to promote safe and supportive environments abroad.

5 Tips To Incorporate Your Identity Into The Study Abroad Experience– Californian Abroad article that discusses how to incorporate your identity into your global learning experience.

Other UC Identities Abroad and Away Webpages

International Education Organization Identity Webpages

Last modified: Jul 16, 2024