International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987


Diversity & Study Abroad

ISA Diversity Statement

At ISA, we encourage students from all backgrounds (with respect to race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, financial need and other historically underserved and underrepresented student populations) to consider studying abroad. We aim to foster inclusionary and positive experiences for our students while engaging them in the culture of their host country through comprehensive on-site support, cultural events and the ISA Bridging Cultures Program. Our goals include providing all students with equal access to quality academic programming abroad and striving to ensure that the students we send abroad are representative of today's diverse college student population.

ISA Resources

Online Orientation
Once students are accepted into their ISA programs and their final deadlines have passed, they are given access to a comprehensive Online Orientation within their student portal. This Online Orientation offers insight and tips to help students navigate various aspects of their host city and its culture. In the "Abroad Expectations" tile of the Online Orientation, students are provided with city-specific historical and cultural background related to the following elements of diversity: race/ethnicity, religion, gender and sexuality. Additional outside resources devoted to diversity in each city may also be provided within this tile.

Bridging Cultures Program
Upon arrival in the host country, students participate in the ISA Bridging Cultures Program. During this program, ISA Resident Staff address four elements related to diversity abroad: common challenges abroad, stereotypes about Americans, reflections on students' identities and culture, and coping strategies and understanding. Talking points during this program may include but are not limited to race, religion, gender, classism, LGBTQ relations, identity, and how to cope with challenges related to diversity. Additional information about the ISA Discovery Model & Bridging Cultures Program can be found on this page.

ISA Today Blog and ISA Student Blog
ISA staff has developed articles related to diversity abroad on the ISA Today Blog to encourage students to think critically about their culture and aspects of their identity throughout the study abroad process.

Additionally, ISA offers students the opportunity to blog about their experiences abroad from their own diverse perspectives. These posts can be found on the ISA Student Blog, and interested students should email for more information.

ISA Diversity Scholarship
The ISA Diversity Scholarship has been offered to students since 2008 and aims to make study abroad more accessible to students from a diversity of backgrounds. More information about this funding opportunity can be found on the ISA Scholarships page.

Outside Resources

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education provides news, information and commentary on the various issues which concern diversity in American higher education. This publication seeks to provide honest, thorough and balanced information related to diverse student populations.

Project for Learning Abroad, Training, and Outreach (PLATO)
PLATO is committed to addressing the needs of diverse students who study abroad. Their website provides study abroad guidance geared toward specific racially and ethnically diverse student populations.

International Lesbian and Gay Association
ILGA is a world-wide federation of national and local groups dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people everywhere.

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
IGLHRC's mission is to advance the human rights of those persons around the world who are subject to discrimination or abuse based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status through documentation, advocacy, coalition building, public education, and technical assistance.

U.S. Department of State - LGBT Travel Information
The U.S. Department of State provides international travelers within the LGBT community with information regarding travel tips, human rights initiatives, and answers to commonly asked questions. Students are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) prior to departure to receive safety and security updates as well as location services in the event of emergencies abroad.

U.S. Department of State - Information for Women Travelers
The U.S. Department of State offers tips to female travelers regarding pre-departure planning as well as for safe practices while abroad.

U.S. Department of State - International Religious Freedom Report
The U.S. Department of State releases and annual report outlining the status of religious freedom in every country. The report includes comprehensive information outlining the religious demographics, governmental practices related to religion, and the status of societal respect for religious freedom.