International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

Diversity & Study Abroad

ISA Diversity Statement

At ISA, we know that diverse student populations enrich study abroad programs by cultivating learning environments that are representative of the real world. We also know that access and inclusion are currently unequal in education abroad and we are committed to bringing the benefits of a global education to historically underserved student populations. ISA seeks to achieve this by:
  • Empowering students of diverse backgrounds by integrating inclusionary practices into all aspects of the study abroad process, including through comprehensive pre-departure, on-site and re-entry advising and resources tailored to individual student needs;
  • Fostering an open and supportive living and learning environment on-site while providing healthy outlets for students to express their identities and engage with these identities through a different cultural lens;
  • Providing funding and other financial resources, including through ISA's Diversity Scholarship, to underrepresented populations.
Through these efforts, ISA strives to ensure that all students feel respected, supported and valued in order to achieve maximum intercultural learning.

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

Financial Need:
First Generation Students:
  • All Abroad: Tips, funding options and resources for first generation students with other diverse backgrounds
  • "I'm First!" Blog: Article with advice on increasing accessibility to study abroad as a first generation student
  • Gilman Scholarship: Grant for students who travel abroad for at least four weeks; empowers historically under-represented students to apply
LGBTQ+ Students:
Non-traditional Students:
Racial/Ethnic Minorities:
  • Diversity Abroad: Community forum for diverse groups of students to share stories, ask questions, learn about resources and apply for scholarships
  • PLATO: Project providing resources, scholarships and tips to historically underrepresented students in study abroad
  • Race/Ethnicity Resources: PDF from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington introducing resources for multi-racial and multi-ethnic individuals
Religious Minorities: