Skip to Content Office of International Education
Click here to Login

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 here in the U.S.
• Gain the ability to see the world from an international perspective while increasing your 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 classified by your race/ethnicity, but abroad, you may be identified first as a U.S.-American. In some locations your race/ethnicity may be seen as part of your identity and in other locations it may not be seen as part of your identity at all.
The resources below can help you learn more about cultural norms and other considerations regarding your study abroad experience.


  • a website advocating for increased participation and diversity in study abroad. There are sections for students, parents and faculty/staff. It also includes a "Mentor" section with video clips of mentors who have answered questions about studying abroad as well as an extensive listing of scholarship opportunities.
  • DiversityAbroad: a website dedicated to helping students of color study abroad; includes advice, scholarship information, student testimonials, and more.
  • PLATO: Project for Learning Abroad, Training & Outreach: a project addressing some of the issues and challenges ethnicity may play in the study abroad experience for underrepresented students, and linking to additional information, resources, and scholarships; this site includes the top 10 reasons for students from African-American, Hispanic-American, Native American, and Asian/Pacific Islander Backgrounds to study abroad.

CU-Boulder Resources

  • Center for Multicultural Affairs: comprehensive services and innovative programs that support and advance the intellectual, personal, cultural, and social development of diverse students.
  • 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!