Equity and Study Away

The Center for Study Away is committed to supporting all students in pursuing opportunities that allow for intellectual and personal growth. At the same time, we recognize that no two students have the same experience, even if traveling to the same location. One reason for this is who you are, how you perceive yourself, and how others perceive you will shape your interactions with your host community and culture.

How you define yourself and how you are perceived in your host community may create new challenges. This is especially true if your host community perceives your identity differently than you define yourself, or if your host community has different perspectives than those you are familiar with. At the same time, your identity may provide you with opportunities to engage and experience a place in a way that is more meaningful for you.

Before you depart, consider not only the many ways that you might identify or define yourself, but also how these identities intersect with one another and how they might change after you arrive in your host country. Perhaps you will have the experience of being in either the majority or minority for the first time. You may encounter stereotypes, questions, and curiosity. These experiences may bring about feelings of frustration or isolation but they may also lead to wonderful new experiences, friendships and a deeper understanding of who you are in the context of the world.

If you identify as a member of a historically marginalized group in the United States, you likely have already developed skills for functioning in a dominant culture that is different than your own. You also might have more experience exploring and thinking about your identity than others who have the privilege to not think about it. Therefore, you may find that you are better equipped to deal with the challenges of adapting to, and living in, a new cultural environment. Don’t underestimate the resources and skills that you already utilize every day, and how those skills can be applied to your study away experience.

Equity Resources by Topic

We have organized information and resources into the following topic areas. Each link will take you to a page that provides you with things to think about, questions to consider, and additional resources to assist you as you select a location and prepare for your study away experience. There is no ‘right answer’ or ‘perfect fit’ when considering these topics, and the CSA staff are here to support you and help identify resources as you explore your options. We understand that some of these topics are personal and that you might not want to discuss them. However, we invite you to engage with us or others on campus as you consider how these topics may impact your study away experience.

We are grateful the following Macalester Departments for their collaboration and assistance in developing this content: Department of Multicultural Life, Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, International Student Programs, Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, and Disability Services.

We also appreciate the contributions of the following institutions which helped provide inspiration for our work in this area: Carleton College, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of St. Thomas, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, Kenyon College, University of Vermont, and University of California, Los Angeles.

We Want Your Feedback

We recognize that you came to this website looking for information and resources. If there is something specific you were looking for but didn’t find, please let us know using the feedback form link below. We will do our best to help you find resources that meet your needs and add them here as well. We also welcome suggestions for including resources that you have found on your own that we have missed.

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