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Diversity Resources


Race & Ethnicity

As you would expect, two individuals studying abroad in the same country on the same program will not have quite the same experience. This sometimes holds especially true for students of color from historically under-represented ethnic or racial backgrounds.

Some students report feeling exhilarated by being outside the American context of race relations; others find different degrees of curiosity about their ethnic background and sometimes experience familiar or new types of separation or exclusion.

There is no reason that your racial or ethnic background should prevent you from studying abroad; however, it is important to be aware of the environment you will be entering.

  • You may find it most helpful to speak with other students of color who have studied or traveled in your host country and can provide advice.
  • We also recommend talking to a representative of a specific program or university about the local demographic and cultural realities.

Further reading on this topic:
PLATO: Project for Learning Abroad, Training & Outreach


Whether you have traveled extensively or this is your first time abroad, it's important to consider your host country's cultural attitude towards gender roles and norms, especially related to women.

  • Some countries have well-defined gender roles that are ingrained in local customs and/or laws, while others are more fluid with their perception of gender.
  • It's important to be patient with what you might see as restrictive or too progressive. Finding ways to engage with these differences and to learn from them is an important part of cross-cultural understanding.

However, depending on where you go, you may be treated differently or be expected to treat others differently based on the culture's attitudes toward women around gender roles and gender rights.

  • Everyone should consider possible issues, challenges, and changes they may face while abroad regarding societal perceptions of gender, and how these differences may impact your everyday life.
  • Remember that while sexual harassment or assault may be defined differently or not at all in your host country, Hunter continues to provide support to students who experience sexual harassment or assault abroad.

Further reading on this topic:



You may already identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, or you may still be exploring your identity. In either case, you will find that the social climate, laws, and personal interactions of other cultures will often differ from the U.S. While researching study abroad programs and preparing for departure, it is important to reflect on the culturally based ideas and definitions of gender and sexual identity. Consider carefully how your identity as a member, questioning member, or ally of the LGBTQ community may influence your relationships with host nationals, your cultural adjustment, and your overall education abroad experience.

It is also important to be aware of the laws pertaining to gender and/or sexual identity in your host country as well as the popular attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer individuals. Some students feel more acceptance abroad than they do in the United States, while others feel discrimination or harassment. Whatever the general attitude is toward gender and/or sexual identity in your host country, there will be those who dissent from the general attitude one way or the other. Try to talk with other LGBTQ students who have studied abroad in your host-country and refer to the resources below as needed.

Further reading on this topic:

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
The International Lesbian and Gay Association



Religion is a salient aspect of many cultures around the world, but depending on where you go, you may find that religion plays a larger or smaller role in society compared with the U.S.

  • You should consider not only your personal religious views and/or practices, if any, but also the dominant religion(s) in your host country and how much religion affects the culture and, sometimes, laws.
  • Whether you identify as a member of the dominant religion, a member of another religion, an agnostic, an atheist, or any other religious or spiritual affiliation, it will be important to understand general attitudes of religious tolerance and other religious observances in your host country.

Further reading on this topic:
KAHAL (resources for Jewish students abroad)


Disability & Accessability

Although programs and universities abroad are becoming more aware of the inclusion of students with disabilities, the extent to which accommodations can be provided depends on the nature of the accommodation, the general situation in that particular country regarding accessibility and available services, and the creativity and flexibility of the student and staff/faculty in planning for the experience abroad. Programs will try to provide accommodations as necessary, such as more exam time for a student with a learning difference, materials in alternative formats, readers for someone who is blind, interpreters for a deaf participant, or an accessible homestay for a person who uses a wheelchair. We encourage you to reach out to us while you look into your study abroad options and begin to make plans. To discuss what accommodations you might need, contact a study abroad adviser or the director of Hunter's Office of AccessABILITY.

Further reading on this topic:

Mobility International

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