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Race & Ethnicity

Historically, students of color have been underrepresented in international academic study. However, participation by students of color in summer, semester, and year-long study abroad programs has been increasing in recent years. Institutions of higher education and program providers have sought to identify and remove barriers while encouraging students of all backgrounds to include international study in curriculum. According to the Institute for International Education (IIE) Open Doors annual report published in 2020, 347,099 U.S. students studied abroad for academic credit during the 2018-19 academic year, and over 31% were students of color.

Davidson’s Office of Education Abroad staff members are eager to explore options with all students and will be happy to put students in touch with program partners and returned students who can discuss their experiences.

If you have concerns about issues of race, ethnicity, and the possibility of encountering discrimination abroad, you are not alone. Concerns vary depending on your cultural identity. It is common for students to feel a heightened sense of nationality while abroad, but furthermore, they may perceive themselves as a member of a majority group instead of minority or vice versa. Some students have observed that attitudes toward Americans from individuals in an urban setting may be quite different from those in rural areas in the same country, for example. For more information about experiences that individuals from minority groups have had while studying abroad, please refer to the resources below.

Davidson Student Testimonial

Black Woman in Zambia
"I am so glad I studied abroad in Zambia this past summer because I came away from the experience with a better understanding of another culture and who I am as a person.... I would advise any student, especially one of color, who is interested in study abroad to not let your race hinder you from pursuing it."

Campus Resources:
Additional Resources: