Diversity Abroad & Student Resources

Diversity Abroad & Student Resources

International education is open and available to students of all backgrounds. Regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or level of ability, there is a program for you. It is imperative that all students acquire knowledge of, and sensitivity to, global issues.

This knowledge and experience will enable students to participate fully in tomorrow's workforce that will be even more ethnically and culturally diverse than it is today. The OISP is committed to fostering diversity in our programs and program participants, and will work with you to find a program that best fits your academic, personal, and professional goals.

Multicultural Students

In the U.S. you may be classified by your ethnicity; however, students often find they are first identified as American while abroad. Attitudes toward underrepresented groups vary greatly among cultures. Even if you are not in the minority at home, you might be in your host culture. The following are some resources to assist you in researching your destination country and learning more about the experiences of multicultural students abroad.

PLATO:  The Center for Global Education's Project for Learning Abroad, Training, and Outreach (PLATO) is an integrated study-abroad training, certification, and diversity outreach program that provides comprehensive support resources for study abroad to all U.S. college and university students – with special support for underrepresented students.





DiversityAbroad.com is a valuable resource geared towards promoting study abroad opportunities for multicultural students. The site includes blogs, profiles and forums from underrepresented students studying abroad, financial resources, and a searchable program database.

The All Abroad website offers mentors who are students, parents, and advisers and are comfortable with addressing diversity concerns in the context of learning abroad.

Race Abroad for American's of Color Preparing to Live Abroad

Sexual & Gender Diversity

In order to have a rewarding and safe experience, it is important to be aware of the cultural, legal, and social issues regarding sexual identity and how they could affect interactions with people in your host country. The following are some resources to assist you in researching your destination country and learning more about the experiences of LGBTQ students abroad.

Diversity Issues in Study Abroad
Quotes & stories from Brown University students about their experiences abroad.

International Lesbian and Gay Association
A worldwide federation of national and local groups dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals everywhere. The site offers a country-by-country world survey of the legal position of LGBTQ individuals (Keep in mind that not all countries offer a safe environment for openly gay people).

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
A US-based non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO), IGLHRC effects their mission through advocacy, documentation, coalition building, public education, and technical assistance.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender US Peace Corps Alumni
Seeks to promote Peace Corps ideals and the legal, political, and social rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people around the world. This discusses the LGBT experience abroad. 

NAFSA Rainbow Special Interest Group (SIG)
Extensive information for gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered students interested in studying abroad including a comprehensive list of related links and bibliography.

U.S. Department of State LGBTQ Travel Information

9 Major Life Lessons I Learned Studying Abroad as an LGBTQ
Article from GOOverseas.com.

Students with Disabilities

Just as cultures differ, so do accessible accommodations and perceptions. The key for any study abroad participant is flexibility. Students are encouraged to communicate their needs and consider alternative ways to meet them. JJC Accessibility Services and the OISP are here to assist you before, and during, your program abroad.

Quick Tips for Students with Disabilities Going Abroad

  • Disclose your needs to program staff early, so appropriate arrangements and reasonable accommodations can be made in advance.
  • Remember that other cultures may provide accessibility access in a different way—learn about what types of accommodation are typically provided in your host country, and be flexible and open to different types of accommodations.
  • Before you go, find out as much as you can about your host culture and how they view individuals with disabilities by reading, talking to other students, and attending pre-departure orientation sessions. The more you know, the better prepared you will be for the interaction between you and the new environment.
  • Think about how you will answer questions about your disability in the language of your host country—look up key vocabulary words ahead of time.

JJC Accessibility Services

Mobility International

Mobility International USA (MIUSA) aspires to empower people with disabilities through international exchange, information, technical assistance and training, to ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in international exchange and development programs.

  • National Clearninghouse on Disability Exchange - by Mobility International USA.   A comprehensive one-stop resource for people with disabilities, exchange and disability staff interested in study, work, intern, volunteer, research or teach abroad programs.
  • Personal stories- Stories excerpted from A World Awaits You (AWAY)a free, annual journal of stories by people with disabilities who have participated in a wide range of international exchange programs. Published by Mobility International USA.
  • Financial Resources for students with disabilities - An extensive listing of fellowships, scholarships, and other financial resources for individuals with disabilities to help fund study abroad and other international opportunities.

Support for Students with Disabilities

Resources for students with disabilities who study abroad. Sponsored by SAFETI Clearinghouse.

Traveling with Special Needs

Center for Disease Control tips and resources for students who travel abroad.

University of Minnesota's Access Abroad

Resources for students with disabilities and study abroad. Materials were developed as part of a federally funded project and seeks to enhance existing study abroad opportunities for students with disabilities.

Transitions Abroad: Disability Travel

A collection of first-hand articles, websites and agencies by this award-winning, respected travel magazine.

Health and International Travel Insurance Considerations for Students with Disabilities

Military, ROTC, & Veteran Students

Many military, ROTC, and veteran students are able to use their benefits to help fund their study abroad experience.  If you are interested in using your VA benefits to assist in payment of a study abroad program, you must plan ahead. You will need to work closely with the OISP and JJC Military and Veteran Services to find the program that fits the requirements of the VA and your study abroad goals. In some instances the VA will only cover JJC tuition costs and not other study-abroad related fees. Your JJC Veteran Certifying Official and Military Point of Contact will be able to assist you in determining what, if any, the VA can cover. 

In general, three conditions must be met:

  • Students must be enrolled in courses that will apply to their degree program.
  • The courses at the "host" school in the foreign country must be approved.
  • VA cannot pay any fees specific to studying abroad unless the student is required to study abroad as part of their degree.



VA Benefits Fact Sheet on Study Abroad

Using Veteran's Benefits for Education Abroad (NAFSA resource)

JJC Military and Veteran Services


Women Studying Abroad

Safety Issues for Women Traveling Abroad

Gender Abroad

Resources for women's safety issues abroad created by Northwestern University.

Journeywoman Online

Information for women travelers from women travelers; there is also a free e-mail newsletter you can subscribe to from this site. This site also provides guidance by country on culturally appropriate clothing.

Sexual Harassment And Prevention In College Students Studying Abroad

Article on sexual harassment while studying abroad; including women's experiences, causes, and ways to protect yourself and your personal space.

Transitions Abroad: Women Travel

A collection of first-hand articles, websites, and agencies by an award-winning, respected travel magazine.

Tips for Women Travelers

From Rick Steve's Travel Forum. Includes tips for women traveling to Europe, from women who traveled to Europe. Topics include packing, appropriate attire, safety, etc.

State Department: Women Travelers