Race & Ethnicity

Like in America, discrimination based on racial and ethnic prejudices exists in other countries. Still, during your time abroad you may encounter situations that challenge your understanding of discrimination and racism. Make sure to do a little research about your host country before you leave. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • While traveling abroad, you will often first be identified as an American; your racial and ethnic identity may fall second to your national identity.
  • In some places, you may receive extra attention because of the color of your skin, your hair, accent, or dress. Safety always comes first, but try to distinguish between ignorance or curiosity, and willful discrimination.
  • Know the facts: Who are the racial and ethnic minorities in your host country? Are there laws concerning racial and ethnic discrimination? How is your ethnic group perceived in your host country? What stereotypes prevail? Will you be part of a majority or minority for the first time? How, if at all, will these factors impact your experience abroad?