Identity & Inclusion
Illinois Abroad and Global Exchange embraces global perspectives and cultivates distinct opportunities to grow our understanding of the diverse communities in which we live, study, and work. We seek to make international educational experiences available to every student. As such, we welcome and support students of varied race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, economic class, age, religion, nationality, and military status.
We recognize that different aspects of your identity may impact your study abroad experience and that the education abroad experience will differ for every student. Each student faces different barriers and unique challenges. Furthermore, how you identify in the United States may not be how you choose to identify abroad, and may not be how you are identified by your host culture. We encourage all students to reflect on the different aspects of their identity and consider how they may play a role in their study abroad experience.
First steps to understanding identity and inclusion in your host country:
- Research your host country’s history, culture, laws, and demographics. You can also utilize online resources, including social media, that offer advice, personal narratives, and other information. Be sure to evaluate all of your resources carefully.
- Meet with a returnee who has already studied abroad in your host country. Our office can connect you with current students who have volunteered to share their experiences.
Share Your Story
If you had an impactful experience abroad that was influenced by aspects of your identity, feel free to share those experiences with us through the Student Perspectives Questionnaire in My Study Abroad. Responses to the questionnaire will remain anonymous, but may be shared on the online program pages for prospective study abroad students to read. If you would like to share your experiences with an IAGE staff member, contact your Education Abroad Coordinator or the Coordinator for Exchange and Student Initiatives.