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Race/Ethnicity & Study Abroad

Studying abroad was about embarking on my own adventure, learning who I was by finding out which part of me stayed true in a different setting, and meeting students from across the nation and world. – Denmark, Spring 2008

Benefits to Studying Abroad

  • Use the cross-cultural and navigation skills you’ve already developed.
  • Increase your international perspective along with independence and self-confidence.
  • Learn about and engage in other communities with different racial contexts.
  • Follow in the steps of accomplished people like Maya Angelou, Angela Davis, Ben Nighthorse-Campbell, and many others who were greatly influenced by a study abroad experience.


Cultures and countries vary widely in terms of how race and ethnic identities are defined and understood. In the U.S. you might be identified by your race/ethnicity, but abroad, you may be identified first as a U.S.-American. In some locations your race/ethnicity may be considered by others as part of your identity and in other locations it may not be considered by others part of your identity.

The resources below can help you learn more about cultural norms and other considerations regarding your study abroad experience.


CU-Boulder Resources

  • Cultural Unity & Engagement Center:provides facilitated educational experiences, resources, and involvement opportunities to improve the campus climate for first generation, international, and students of color.
  • CU-Boulder’s Diversity Resources: a list of links to academic resources, academic support programs, support services and centers, campus departments and student organizations from CU-Boulder's Office of Diversity & Equity.

You are welcome to contact a study abroad advisor with any questions, concerns, or anything else. If financing study abroad is a concern, see Finances and speak with an advisor. In addition, many programs offer scholarships, some specifically for underrepresented students.

We look forward to meeting with you to discuss your goals and plans. See Getting Started for your next steps!