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.


U.S. Department of State Travel Information for LGBTQI Travelers

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

Selecting Gender Marker (F), (M) or (X) on U.S. Passport

X Passports: Nonbinary Travel Safety

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 7, 2025, 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

As you consider and prepare for a study away experience, use the following questions and resources to guide you.

For some U of R students with disabilities or accommodations, there may be minimal or no barriers to studying away, and for others access to supports or needed accommodations may be critical factors in their decision-making process. This resource page is designed to help you consider an array of factors to help you make an informed decision and plan accordingly for a study away experience. We recommend as one of the first steps to make an appointment with the CAS Study Away Office or your proposed May Term faculty leader to learn more about how the program you are interested in may or may not have supports in place for students with disability related accommodations. You should also work closely with the Academic Success and Accessibility Office to go over your desired study away intentions and action plan for managing your accommodations while studying away.

Students may wonder if they should disclose their eligibility for accommodations to CAS Study Away or to their May Term faculty leader. Here are some reasons as to why disclosing could be a benefit for you:

  • To understand whether a specific program is able to meet your specific accommodation needs
  • To determine the ideal fit of a program in relation to your strengths, challenges and learning style
  • To begin working very early with a program to connect a student to appropriate people/offices to make sure that needed accommodations can be arranged and are in-place before the start of a program. It also allows for time to identify possible alternative strategies, if the accommodations offered on the program differ from what you currently receive.

Disclosing the use of accommodations will have no bearing on a student’s acceptance or denial into a program.

What should you disclose to CAS Study Away or your May Term faculty leader?

  • How your disability impacts your academic and daily functioning
  • The accommodations you currently receive at the U of R
  • What accommodations have been effective in the past for you and which you believe to be critical to your academic and personal access.
  • Any mental or physical health needs (doctors, counselors, etc.)
  • Any prescription medications (there may be some restrictions on what medications are legal in some countries)

Important things to consider when considering studying away:

How do I start planning for a study away experience as a student with a disability?

  • List your accommodations
    • What accommodations (such as academic, housing, dietary, aides, transportation, etc.) do I require to manage my disability, and which of these are non-negotiable?
    • Are there countries or programs where my required accommodations are not/may not be available?
  • Consider how you will manage the unexpected
    • What strategies do you use on campus to manage your disability? How will you apply or modify those strategies while studying away?
    • If you are unable to receive the accommodations you need, how can you adapt or create alternative strategies to address them?
  • Examine the laws and infrastructure of your study away location
    • How does your preferred study away location/program address and perceive physical mobility (ramps, elevators, personal care assistants, etc.) and/or invisible or non-apparent disabilities (learning disabilities, ADHD, anxiety, asthma, etc.)?
    • What laws and infrastructure are in place in your preferred study away location to help support students with disabilities?
    • How will in-country infrastructure, such as unpaved roads, availability of ramps or elevators, and access to medications, potentially impact your experience?
    • Are there restrictions as to what medications can be brought into the country?
    • Will you have the same access to physical and mental health resources and medications that you do in the US?
  • Seek community
    • Is there a local community of people with similar disabilities that you could connect with?

What resources are available abroad to students with disabilities?

Researching the climate for people with disabilities around the world is an important part of deciding where you will travel. Attitudes and laws surrounding physical mobility, mental illness and chronic conditions will vary depending on your destination and it is essential that you have an understanding of the disability rights in your host country location.

Here are resources for students traveling internationally with a disability:

US State Department: Traveling with Disabilities

Mobility International USA

Go Overseas: How Students with Disabilities Can Study Abroad

U of R Academic Success and Accessibility Office

Will a student receive the same accommodations on study away that they receive at the University of Redlands?

The accommodations that a student will receive on study away program may vary. Countries have different standards of accessibility and perceptions of people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States, required organizations to ensure accessible accommodations, but your host country location will have its own set of laws, cultural perceptions and accommodations for people with disabilities. You should utilize the resources above to learn more about the cultural perceptions and attitudes of the host destination.

General Resources

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