Multicultural Services/ Student Affairs and Study Abroad
The study abroad experience is important for all students, including African American, Hispanic/ Latin@, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Native American students. The Multicultural Services and Student Affairs offices (Black Student Union, Latin American Student Association, MEChA, etc.) can play an important role by collaborating with returned students and study abroad professionals in outreach to students about the importance of and steps to study abroad with just a few easy steps outlined below.
Find out what experts say about why students with diverse backgrounds should study abroad and what students can expect such as personal and career benefits, how students might be viewed abroad, and discrimination issues. There is also helpful information on how to quickly better promote study abroad to multicultural students including sample materials, resources, and links addressing some of the issues concerning ethnicity that students may encounter abroad.
Why is study abroad important for multicultural students?
Studying abroad is one of the most rewarding learning opportunities students can experience while in college. Every year, more and more students are heading to foreign countries to study for credit. Yet the percentages of African American, Hispanic/ Latin@ American, Asian/ Pacific Islander American, and Native American students studying abroad are significantly lower than the percentages for these students in U.S. higher education enrollment. (Data Tables)
The Commission on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship Program with the vision to increase the number of students sent abroad to one million by 2016, firmly believes that "the demographics of the U.S. undergraduate students abroad should be similar to those of the U.S. undergraduate student population." (Global Competence & National Needs: One Million Americans Studying Abroad (2005), p. 27.)
A similar stance was taken by the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Strategic Task Force on Education Abroad: "The United States is failing to show the world the diversity of its population. Study abroad can be a truly eye-opening experience for Americans of all races who discover that people elsewhere categorize them more by national origin than by ethnicity." (Securing America's Future: Global Education for a Global Age (2003), p. 10.)
These major reports are only two examples of the field's call for greater student diversity on study abroad programs.
- 10 Reasons for African American Students to Study Abroad
- 10 Reasons for Asian/ Pacific Islander American Students to Study Abroad
- 10 Reasons for Hispanic/ Latin@ American Students to Study Abroad
- 10 Reasons for Native American Students to Study Abroad
- What experts say about why students with diverse backgrounds should study abroad and what students can expect
How can you help?
This section is designed to provide useful information about promoting study abroad among multicultural students in community colleges and 4-year college/universities. Returned study abroad students are a great resource to inform and encourage other students to go abroad! Here you will find information to help you with outreach to other multicultural students, whether you are a student returning from abroad, a Multicultural Services/Student Affairs Professional interested in establishing or enhancing multicultural student interest in study abroad on your campus, or a study abroad administrator.
Sample outreach resources
These materials have been created for you to use as templates for your own outreach to others about study abroad. You can personalize them with your own information and add or remove slides as you see fit. They are copyright free for all visitors to download, edit, and publish.
- Presentation to African American Students to Study Abroad
- Presentation to Asian/ Pacific Islander American Students to Study Abroad
- Presentation to Hispanic/ Latin@ American Students to Study Abroad
- Presentation to Native American Students to Study Abroad
- Additional presentations
- Posters/ Flyers
Please explore the rest of Allabroad.us as well as the PLATO website for resources on dealing with racism abroad including group-specific discrimination (African American, Asian/ Pacific Islander American, Hispanic/ Latin@ American, Native American), racial group-specific advice (African American, Asian/ Pacific Islander American, Hispanic/ Latin@ American, Native American), and racial group-specific resources, scholarships, and articles.
We invite you to explore the links above and hope that you will find the information helpful. We welcome your questions, comments, and useful resources you'd like to share! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.