Diversity and Inclusion
Supporting all types of students and maximizing the impact of student experiences abroad is a core value of IFSA. We know that our programs are enhanced by the inclusion of diverse perspectives and backgrounds. All students should see study abroad as an option — regardless of race, gender, financial background or area of study.
Read about students’ experiences in the stories below, or check out Unpacked: Student Stories for an even wider range of stories.
Faith and religion influence the development of culture, self and society. Wherever you study, your host country will likely be shaped by its dominant spiritual beliefs. Whether the country recognizes an official state religion or considers its society to be “post faith,” you will find cultural icons, practices and norms that have been influenced by a history of faith. Read on for student perspective on religion and spirituality abroad.
First Generation College Students
We offer the award-winning First Generation College Student scholarship to support you. We are committed to “first gen” students — even our President and CEO is a first gen! Read more about other first-generation college students and their study abroad experiences here.
We value and celebrate LGBTQ+ students and the perspectives they bring to our programs and want all students, staff and faculty on our programs to feel supported. Our Program Advisors participate in Butler University’s Safe Space Ally Training program, so they have the tools and knowledge to be effective allies for LGBTQ+ students. For insight into how other LGBTQ+ students have embraced their identity during study abroad, read on.
Gender plays an important role in culture. No matter where you travel, you should expect some change — substantial or subtle — in how your gender behavior is perceived locally. From dating to business norms, we will help you understand gender roles in your host country so you are prepared to make culturally appropriate and safe choices. Read more about gender abroad in these student stories.
Racial and Ethnic Identities
We are committed to ensuring that the diversity of the U.S. student population is reflected in our study abroad participants. Race and ethnic identity can take on a completely new meaning when studying abroad, and understanding in advance how your host culture embraces ethnicity will be helpful. Read about other students’ experiences dealing with race and ethnicity abroad.
STEM majors are the fastest-growing study abroad group. It can seem overwhelming to find the courses you need abroad to stay on track and graduate on time, but our IFSA Curriculum Integration team will help you find the exact courses you need. Contact us today to start locating programs with your specific courses. And read about the experiences other STEM students experienced while studying abroad.
Students with Special Accommodations
We encourage all students to consider study abroad. Whether you live with a physical disability, learning differences, and/or mental health diagnoses, we will work with you to make your term abroad productive and healthy. Learn more about our Health and Safety team and our services here.
With rigorous practice, training and competition schedules, it might seem like student athletes can’t find the time to study abroad, but many have found a way to spend a semester abroad without impacting their sports schedule. Some locations operate on a similar schedule to the U.S., so it might be as simple as planning your study abroad for the off-season. Plus, we can help you gain access to fitness centers so you can continue your off-season training. Find out more about how other student athletes have incorporated study abroad into their schedules.
We recognize and support those who have served in our armed forces, and we are prepared to help facilitate your study abroad experience. Generally, veterans or their dependent students can apply the GI Bill toward study abroad, although the amount will depend on the benefit type and whether study abroad is required for your major (in which case the VA may pay more).