Diversity, Identity, & Accessibility Resources

The Office of Overseas Study welcomes and encourages students from all backgrounds to consider making study abroad part of their degree program at Indiana University. Part of the learning experience of studying abroad is that you may find that attitudes you understand in the U.S. about race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and ability may be different abroad. Below are some resources that will hopefully provide you with more information about how to be you while abroad.

  • Accessibility

    The Office of Overseas Study welcomes students of all abilities.

    While we cannot guarantee that any or all of our program sites can accommodate your needs or interests, we will do our best to inform you of your options abroad.

    If you would like to discuss any aspect of the study abroad experience related to your abilities or otherwise, please contact an advisor in the Office of Overseas Study.

    In an attempt to assist you, we:

    • Work closely with the Disability Services for Students Office regarding your special needs.
    • Will assist you, in conjunction with the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange within Mobility International, in finding the appropriate program for you. 
    • Include sections in our “Study Abroad Handbook” about different abilities. 
    • Communicate with program staff abroad about accommodations you may need.

    You may find the following resources useful:

    Access Abroad 
    This website, developed by the University of Minnesota, provides resources to assist students with disabilities who wish to study abroad. 

    IES Student Diversity Blog: Physical Disability
    Students can read more about the experiences of students abroad who have various physical abilities.

  • Gender & Sexuality

    The Office of Overseas Study welcomes LGBTQ+ students and students of all gender expressions.

    Depending on what you may be accustomed to and where you choose to study abroad, you might find that gender roles and expectations in other societies are quite different. You may also find that attitudes toward the overall LGBTQ+ community differ from what you are used to. Since you will be viewed through the lens of the host culture, these differences in attitudes and expectations may cause you to feel uncomfortable at times. This may be particularly true for female, transgender, non-binary/gender nonconforming students, and students who generally identify as being part of the LGBTQ+ community.

    Program staff both in the Office of Overseas Study and abroad can advise students about how to minimize negative interactions at your program site and how to see your unique identity as a positive component of your study abroad experience.

    If you wish to discuss any aspect of the study abroad experience related to your gender identity and/or sexual orientation, please contact an advisor in the Office of Overseas Study.

    In an attempt to assist you, we:

    • Include sections in our “Study Abroad Handbook” about gender identity and sexual orientation.
    • Encourage our program sites overseas to keep information available about local LGBTQ+ support groups.
    • Stay in close contact with the LGBTQ+ Culture Centeron the IUB campus.

    You may find the following resources useful:

    IES Student Diversity Blog: LGBTQ+
    Students can read more about the experiences of LGBTQ+ students abroad in a variety of locations around the globe.

    IES LGBTQ+ and Ally Resources
    Students can find a collection of IES Abroad and other website’s resources specific to the LGBTQ+ community.

    IES Location-Specific Identity Resources
    The IES location-specific resources provide information for and student perspectives about life in each location for LGBTQ+ students.

    CIEE Student Blog
    Students can read more about the experiences of LGBTQ+ students abroad in a variety of locations by using “LGBTQ” in the search filter.

    A list of resources for LGBTQ+ students abroad, compiled by the Office of Overseas Study

    Air Travel Tips for Transgender Students Studying Abroad
    This article explores air travel tips for transgender and non-binary students.

    NAFSA's Rainbow Special Interest Group 
    This site is maintained by NAFSA volunteers and produced by international education professionals who specialize in LGBTQ+ issues.

    Fund for Education Abroad Rainbow Scholarship
    The Rainbow Scholarship is a national scholarship for
    deserving LGBTQ+ students who aims to participate in a high quality, rigorous education abroad program.

    The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Intersex Association

    This organization publishes reports relating to the climate for LGBTQ+ individuals in various regions around the world. 

    Her Own Way: Advice for the Woman Traveller
    The Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau provides information about security, packing, culture shock and more in this article for women travelers.

    La Bella Experienza
    This book, by an IU alum, provides resources and advice for women studying abroad in Italy.

    Women Travelers
    Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) lists a number of tips for women travelers. The FCO is the department of the British Government responsible for overseas relations and foreign affairs.

    Sexual Assault Support & Help for Americans Abroad 
    This network offers resources to assist American citizens and legal permanent residents who are sexually assaulted in a foreign country.

    Sexual Harassment And Prevention In College Students Studying Abroad (SAFETI)
    The SAFETI online newsletter addresses issues of safety in study abroad. This article explores how women can minimize their risk of being sexually harassed while traveling abroad.

  • Race, Ethnicity, & National Identity

    The Office of Overseas Study welcomes students from all backgrounds.

    We recognize that students of various racial, ethnic, and national backgrounds may have specific considerations while preparing to go abroad and may experience unique challenges abroad as well.

    Students may find that physical features that distinguish them from the host population may result in stares, comments, or sometimes-overt prejudice. Program staff both here in the Office of Overseas Study and abroad can advise students about how to minimize negative interactions at your program site and how to see your unique identity as a positive component of your study abroad experience.

    If you wish to discuss any aspect of the study abroad experience related to your racial, ethnic, or national background, please contact an advisor in the Office of Overseas Study.

    You may find the following resources useful:

    IES Location-Specific Identity Resources
    The IES location-specific resources provide information for and perspectives from students of various racial, ethnic, and national backgrounds about life in each location.

    IES Student Diversity Blog: Race/Ethnicity
    Students can read numerous blog posts about the experiences of students from diverse racial, ethnic, and national backgrounds in a variety of locations around the globe.

    Traveling with Natural Hair
    This article provides packing tips, ideas for travel hairstyles, information on how to find a stylist abroad, and personal stories.

    CIEE Student Blog
    Students can read more about the experiences of LGBTQ+ students abroad in a variety of locations by using “Diversity & Access” in the search filter.

  • Religion & Spirituality

    The Office of Overseas Study welcomes students from all religious and spiritual communities.

    If your religious or spiritual community is important to you, we hope you seek out that community while abroad. Use the links below to find information about religious and spiritual groups around the world.

    If you wish to discuss any aspect of the study abroad experience related to your religious or spiritual background, please contact an advisor in the Office of Overseas Study.

    U.S. Department of State International Religious Freedom Reports
    This site explores the state of religious freedom, country by country, as seen by the U.S. Department of State.

    Time and Date
    A list of public holidays and other special days in over 200 countries.

    BBC Guide to World Religions
    Brief overview of religions around the world with links to additional resources.

    Diversity Abroad
    Tips and must ask questions about religion for study abroad students.

    IES Location-Specific Identity Resources
    The IES location-specific resources provide information for and perspectives from students of various religious and spiritual backgrounds about life in each location.

    KAHAL
    Resources for Jewish students going abroad, including information on how to keep Kosher.

    Zabihah
    Directory of halal restaurants and stores worldwide.

    Islamic Finder
    Directory of prayer times, Islamic organizations, and mosques worldwide.

    World Buddhist Directory
    Searchable directory of Buddhist centers around the world.

    The World Council of Churches
    A directory of member churches around the world.

    International Humanist and Ethical Union
    IHEU is the world union of over a hundred Humanist, rationalist, secular, ethical culture, atheist and freethought organizations in more than 40 countries.

    IES Student Diversity Blog: Religion
    Students can read more about the experiences of students from a variety of religious and spiritual backgrounds in a variety of locations around the globe.