As you explore your study abroad options, you'll want to consider aspects of your identity and how these may be perceived and treated in the cultures you'll be spending time in.
We encourage you to do some research into social norms, cultural mores, and local practices before your program begins. You'll want to participate as much as possible in the host culture and should be prepared for the experience, which can be both personally challenging and rewarding.
Students with disabilities can and do study abroad! The Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP) encourages all ISU students to explore Study Abroad and is available to help you determine if a specific program you are interested in meets your academic and social needs, while accommodating your disability.
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) only applies to institutions in the United States. When traveling abroad, you may experience differences and/or daily physical and academic limitations that you may not generally experience within the United States. In many cases there may not be elevators, designated crosswalks, wheelchair access, or resource centers on your host university campus.
It is important to define your study abroad goals, consider how you will manage differences abroad, and seek as much information as possible before you depart for your study abroad program. The key to a successful experience is advanced planning!
We recommend you contact Student Access and Accommodation Services and your Study Abroad Advisor as you begin researching the program(s) and site(s). These two departments can assist you in supporting your housing and academic needs while studying abroad. We look forward to helping you find the program that best fits your academic and social goals.
Students are able to study abroad with advanced planning. University College has support services for first-generation college students through TRiO, please contact your advisor for assistance in determining programs that would be a good fit.
You can be Greek and Study Abroad! Many students believe they are unable to participate in a study abroad experience due to chapter obligations, or worry that they will miss out on social experiences on campus. However, summer semester is a very popular time for students to study abroad and still participate in campus life during the semester. Many programs are open to all majors and minors, which allows students to participate in programs together with others from their chapter.
It is important to evaluate the aspects of the environment that could affect how you express your sexual orientation and gender identity. LGBTQ life exists almost everywhere, but the degree to which it's visible at first glance varies.
As you get to know people and your new environment, you may find a variety of welcoming organizations and establishments. However, every place in the world has different laws, policies, and cultural attitudes toward people who identify as or are perceived to be LGBTQ. It's important to take this into account when selecting a study abroad location and program so that you have a positive and satisfying experience.
When determining where you'd like to study abroad, be sure to ask yourself some very important questions.
University guides with additional resources:
Racial and ethnic relations vary by culture, meaning that while you’re abroad, you may be part of an ethnic minority or majority for the first time in your life or have to think about your identity in a new way.
For instance, if you’re visiting a country where you have ethnic or racial roots, you may have to consider the local norms and expectations in ways that other students with different backgrounds may not. Remember that in countries with pre-existing ethnic or racial conflicts, you may be inadvertently identified with one group or another simply based on your appearance. On the other hand, perhaps you’ll be considered American first, and your ethnic or racial identity will be secondary.
You can prepare yourself for the situations you may encounter by researching the minority, majority, and plurality racial and ethnic composition of your host country and exploring its history of racial and ethnic relations.
The level of commitment to religious diversity and freedom can vary by country. It is important to research and understand the religious and spiritual beliefs of your host country. Spending time in a country where the major religion is different from your own can lead to a better understanding of your own notions of spirituality.
Student veterans attempting to use GI bill or Post 9-11 funding are advised to read the following information regarding access to funding as it relates to study abroad.
Under Chapter 33, VA will pay:
VA will not pay:
The Study Abroad Office recommends that veterans first explore the option of studying abroad as an exchange student and then consider a short-term program for greatest funding opportunities. Please see a Study Abroad Advisor for more information.