Diversity & Identity Resources

We believe that study away experiences can have a profound impact on a student's life and the experience can inform their future academic, professional, and personal endeavors. We are committed to making study away accessible to all students. Our office is a resource and support for students interested in exploring study away. We're continuously updating information and resources to help students prepare for all aspects of their study away experience, including how aspects of their identity may be received in their study away host country.

First Generation Students

Below are resources to help make study away accessible, safe and rewarding for first generation students.

Talk to Your Advisors and Fellow Students: When preparing to study away, seek advice from people at your current university or college. First, make appointments to speak with your advisors, specifically in study away, academic advising and financial aid.  Make an appointment to talk with the study away office to fully learn about the programs that are available to you, understand the costs associated with study away and get any questions answered. You should also connect with your academic advisors to figure out which courses enable you to earn credits towards your major/minor/emphasis. And of course, make an appointment to talk with the financial aid office. Doing this will help you realize how much of your financial aid package can be used to go abroad, which will determine how much you may be expected to pay out of pocket.

In addition, talk to students who have already studied abroad. They can give you firsthand advice about the process of living abroad, and will give you the most truthful answers you could want. If you don't know anyone who has studied abroad, you can contact one of our First Generation Study Away Ambassadors .

Do Your Research: Do as much research as possible. Speaking with advisors and other study away alumni is a great start, but take the time to look into your options to ensure you make the best decision.

Find Support: Making the decision to study away, especially if no one you know before you has done it, can be daunting. Your family and friends may not understand your motivations, or may even think it's a "vacation"! It's important to find people in your life who support your decision to study away, whether that support comes from friends, family, mentors, or even other students in your study away cohort. Having people in your life who understand and respect your decision to study away can help you feel more comfortable, and can help you ease into your study away program more smoothly.


Making the Decision to Study Abroad as a First-Generation Student

GoAbroad's First-Generation Student Guide to Study Abroad

How to Talk to Your Family/Support Network about Studying Away 

The CAS Study Away Office is also here as a resource for you, please come to us with any questions or concerns.


LGBTQIA+ Students

Below are resources to help make study away accesible, safe and rewarding for LGBTQIA+ identifying students.

Questions to consider:

  • What are the laws regarding homosexuality and gender identity in my host country?
  • Is it safe for me to be out when I’m abroad? Should I come out to my host family?
  • What are the cultural norms for dating and friendship?
  • What kinds of LGBTQIA+ resources are there in my host country?
  • What is the LGBTQIA+ population like in my host country? How visible and large is it? How do they dress, behave, etc.?

Tips to consider:

  • While you may face some uncomfortable situations while studying away, always remember to put your safety first.
  • Before you leave, familiarize yourself with the customs and laws of your host country.
  • Research whether or not talking about sexuality is taboo.
  • Research the terms and definitions used in your host country to talk about LGBTQIA+ issues.
  • Find a support network abroad.


Meaningful Travel Tips and Tales - LGBTQ Traveler's Perspective

Trans Guide for Staying Safe While Traveling

LGBTQIA+ Rights by Country/Territory

International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association

The CAS Study Away Office is also here as a resource for you, please come to us with any questions or concerns.

Students of Color

Below are resources to help make study away accessible, safe and rewarding for students of color.

Questions to consider:

  • How is my ethnic group perceived in my host country? What kind of stereotypes are there?
  • How should I react if I find something to be offensive?
  • Is the person curious or do they have bad intentions?
  • Has my host family housed students or my race or ethnicity before? If not, will this be an issue for them?
  • Am I used to being part of the majority at home but will be a minority abroad? Or vice versa?
  • Will there be other students of color in my program?
  • Who should I contact if I do face racial or discriminatory incidents while studying away?
  • Does my program have support staff that will understand and help me through any racial or discriminatory incident I may face?

Tips to consider:

  • While you may face some uncomfortable situations while studying away, always remember to put your safety first.
  • Remember that people abroad have different cultural norms and tend to be less “politically correct” than people in the U.S.
  • The more you integrate with the culture the less you'll stand out, but your skin, hair, or other features may still attract attention.
  • Research what kinds of contact and relations people of your race or ethnicity have had in your host country. You may also want to research immigration in general.
  • Be aware that people may generalize or incorrectly identify your ethnicity.
  • Learn more about other students of color's experiences abroad. For example, you can talk to other students of color who have studied abroad or find information online.
  • Build a support network among other study abroad students so that if you do face racial or discriminatory incidents you'll have support to deal with it.
  • Be prepared if an incident does arise, but don't go abroad expecting racism or discrimination.


PLATO - resources for supporting diversity in study abroad


The CAS Study Away Office is also here as a resource for you, please come to us with any questions or concerns.

DACA Students

Below are resources for DACA students interested in studying away:

Domestic Program Options:

DACAmented students can participate in our domestic study away programs. Semester domestic program options can be found here and domestic May Term options here. By May 3, 2023, a REAL ID will be required to travel by plane domestically within the United States. DACA recipients are eligible to receive a REAL ID, if their legal presence documents are current.  Students should meet with the CAS Study Away Director to discuss domestic study away options. 

International Program Options:

Students who are DACA recipients may be able to study internationally with advance parole. This process entails extra steps and added time; DACA recipients should meet with the CAS Study Away Director as early as possible to talk about timelines, processes and more. Students should also discuss their plans with both an immigration attorney and their family. 

What is advance parole? 

Advance Parole is a process in U.S. immigration law that lets immigrants leave the U.S. and then re-enter lawfully. 

Who is eligible for advance parole?

Students who are DACA recipients may apply for advance parole through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”), under one of three categories: humanitarian, educational, or work purposes. Study abroad programs fall within the educational category. Approval of advance parole applications is not guaranteed. 

How does advance parole work?

Students must apply for and receive advance parole before leaving the country. It is needed, in addition to other documents (passport issued by your country of birth and student visa, if needed) to travel outside the U.S.  

When returning from study abroad, a student with DACA presents the advance parole document to the airline at check-in as authorization for entry into the U.S., in place of a visa. Upon arrival in the U.S., the student presents the advance parole document (along with the passport and DACA card) to the border agent at customs and immigration. It is important to note that even with advance parole,it is still possible for students to be denied reentry to the U.S. by a Customs and Border Protection Officer. Students should talk to an immigration attorney about their unique situation before traveling abroad and throughout this entire process.

Applying for advance parole

Students should work with an immigration lawyer to:

  • Talk about their study away plans, their unique situation and make sure they are eligible to apply for advance parole.
  • Understand the advance parole process (documents needed, forms to complete (Form I-131, how to submit the forms, timelines for submission, costs associated with submitting forms and more). A student’s DACA status must be valid through their proposed time abroad and up to 6 months after completion of the study away program. Students will also need a valid passport from their country of birth; passport must be valid for at least six months after completion of study abroad program. 

Suggested Timeline for DACA Students Interested in Study Abroad

As mentioned before, this process requires a few extra steps, and we encourage students with DACA to meet with the CAS Study Away Director as early as possible. Students are encouraged to follow this general timeline:

1 year in advance:

  • Meet with the CAS Study Away Director to talk about process and possible program options. There may be some limitations on destinations depending on host countries and entry requirements. Some countries may not allow you to apply for a student visa from the United States.
  • Discuss your plans with your family. 
  • Confer with an immigration attorney.
  • Select and apply for your study abroad program. CAS study away application due date is December 1st (year prior to academic year student wants to study away).

9-12 months in advance:

  • Renew DACA status, if needed (DACA status must remain valid through the end of study abroad program plus 120-150 days afterwards).
  • Apply for/renew passport from country of birth (renewal is needed if passport will expire within six months after the end of study abroad program).
  • Gather documents for Advance Parole application.

6 months in advance:

  • Apply for Advance Parole.

3-6 months in advance:

  • Apply for student visa, if necessary. Advance parole is needed to apply for a student visa. 
  • Complete U of R and program pre-departure requirements. 
  • Book flight.

1-3 months in advance:

  • Make final preparations for semester abroad.
  • Gather all documentation required for travel to confirm you have what you need and to provide time to address any processing delays. 

Students with Disabilities

Below are resources to help make study away accessible, safe and rewarding for students with disabilities.

Questions to consider:

  • How are people with my disability viewed abroad?
  • How should I respond if people give me unsolicited help?
  • How accessible are places in my host country?
  • Will my disability prevent me from participating in certain excursions because of inaccessibility?
  • What accommodations and/or resources do I need to participate on a study away program?

Tips to consider:

  • Talk with other students with disabilities and learn about their experiences abroad.
  • Let your counselor or program director know about your disability, if you are comfortable doing so, so that as many accommodations as possible can be made.
  • Keep in mind that places abroad may not be as accessible as you are used to.
  • Remember that people with disabilities may be treated differently than you are accustomed to. Research before you go so you have some idea of what to expect.
  • Be flexible and think creatively about how you can accommodate your disability abroad.


Mobility International

Travelers with Disabilities

The CAS Study Away Office is also here as a resource for you, please come to us with any questions or concerns.

General Resources

Check out additional diversity and identity resources from some of our study away partner organizations.