» Diversity and Access Abroad Resources

Chapman University encourages students of all identities and backgrounds to partake in study abroad. As in the U.S., you will find that certain people or groups abroad are more open to diversity than others. 

Aspects of how you identify yourself (i.e. race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, etc.) may feel highlighted while you’re abroad because of cultural differences in the local community.  Other aspects may feel decreased in visibility if they are more common among the local population.  Students have returned from study abroad with different feelings about the attitudes from others they encountered abroad.  Some students feel relieved to be free for a time from the cultural norms and expectations of the U.S.  Others find it more challenging to confront diversity issues in an unfamiliar culture.  Occasionally, students have faced racism and intolerance abroad, just as it is possible to experience racism and intolerance in the U.S.

Search for blogs of study abroad students with similar backgrounds and identities so you can be more familiar with these topics and experiences.

Learn about how another country views someone with your identity/needs and what types of support exists in that culture:

  • Buenos Aires study abroadSupport resources at your host institution
  • Laws
  • Norms/styles of behavior
  • Media
  • General attitudes toward your needs
  • Meeting places and student groups

Visit Diversity and Inclusion to read Chapman's statement on diversity and inclusion, and learn more about how Chapman University engages our community in fostering a campus environment that highly values personal dignity, diversity, equity, civility and global citizenship. Those you meet in your host country such as your on-site program director, friends, students, and host families will be knowledgeable about the country and may be able to assist you with some concerns and needs as well.

Scholarships are available for students from diverse backgrounds.

Visit the NAFSA Resources for Supporting Diversity in Education Abroad as well as the resources below to help answer your questions and find support for diversity and access while you are abroad.

+ - Students with Disabilities


  • The Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act are not enforced outside of the U.S. Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to disclose any physical or learning disability that requires accommodations to determine if the student’s needs can be met overseas.
  • Register with Chapman University’s Disability Services to help coordinate accommodations and services while you are abroad.
  • MIUSA: Mobility International USA: MIUSA's mission is to empower people with disabilities to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development. The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange offers, for supporting students with disabilities in going abroad, advice and referrals, training, tip sheets, disability resources and success stories.
  • CDC International Travelers with Disabilities: Helpful information for travelers with disabilities
  • Disability Travel and Recreation Resources
  • BestColleges.com: Resources for students with disabilities. Use the Resource section to find apps, websites, and software designed to help those with disabilities in the classroom, with their homework, and in the social situations students find on campus.
  • A World Awaits You: A journal on people with disabilities traveling with a purpose.
  • Passport to Possibilities: In this video, four people with disabilities share their experiences. Learn how the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, a project of MIUSA and U.S. Department of State, can help in preparations.

+ - Mental Health Abroad

Students will encounter challenges and stressors when studying abroad such as leaving friends and family, experiencing cultural differences and possible recurrence of pre-existing conditions. Situations entailing a high level of stress can cause unusually strong emotional reactions and can interfere with students’ effective functioning abroad. Such reactions are normal responses to abnormal situations and are to be expected under the circumstances.

Students who seek support early on and use available resources are more likely to be successful abroad. Follow the steps below for psychological pre-planning before studying abroad, whether or not you have pre-existing mental health conditions:

  • Make an appointment with the Student Psychological Counseling Services before going abroad for a confidential mental health check-up and learn how to set goals, manage time, and cope more successfully with the challenges of study abroad.
  • Research if your medication(s) are legal in the country you are going to, what you need to know about transporting and/or obtaining your medications, and how to maintain your medication schedule while abroad.
  • Check what professional resources are available in your host country. Many study abroad programs can help you identify local resources such as professional counselors who speak English and enable you to obtain treatment abroad.
  • Disclose information directly with your study abroad advisors so that we can give you support and guidance to continue your experience abroad if psychological concerns arise.
  • Practice good self-care while abroad including adequate rest, healthy diet, exercise and moderate use of alcohol if you drink. 

Information from "Best Practices in Addressing Mental Health Issues Affecting Education Abroad Participants © Copyright 2006. NAFSA: Association of International Educators."

Mental Health Abroad -- Bureau of Consular Affairs: Traveling abroad can be stressful; create a workable plan for yourself.

NAFSA E-Publication: Learn about the best practices in addressing mental health issues that affect education abroad participants.

Her Story: Studying Abroad with a Mental Illness: A student shares her personal experience of studying abroad with a mental illness.

Dealing with Post-Study Abroad Depression: What is PSAD and how can you deal with it?

+ - LGBTQIA Students

Questions you should ask yourself when choosing a location to study abroad:

  • What are the laws around sexual and gender identity in my host country?
  • Can I be "out" while abroad?
  • What does "out" look like in my host country?
  • What are the cultural norms for dating and friendship?

Helpful Links:

+ - Students of Color


  • Racial & Ethnic Minority Students Abroad: When studying abroad the people you encounter may have different opinions about the U.S. Find out how to cope with these differences.
  • AllAbroad.us: Find answers to common questions about study abroad given by experienced mentors. Find group-specific advice relevant to racial diversity in study abroad within four subcategories—African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islander Americans, Hispanic/ Latino Americans, and Native Americans.
  • BlackLifeInChina.com: Connect directly to the lives and everyday experiences of black Americans living in China
  • DiversityAbroad.com: Articles from a diverse group of students who went abroad. Learn about the benefits of going abroad and the tools to get you there.
  • Top 10 Reasons for African-American Students to Go Abroad: TransitionsAbroad.com outlines ten reasons African-American should study abroad and information relating to the myths associated with study abroad.

+ - Students Who Identify as Women

  • Women Abroad: How will your host country's culture act and feel towards Women?
  • Transitions Abroad: Publication that welcomes women-specific travel resources and travel related everything. Find Women Travel Advisors and Women Travel Reports.
  • Journey Woman.com: A travel resource just for women. Includes articles designed to inspire you to travel safely and well.
  • Women Travel Tips: Encounter words of wisdom from a multitude of experienced women travelers with useful articles.
  • Her Own Way: A Woman's Safe-travel Guide

+ - Students Who are DACA or Undocumented

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and Undocumented students must seek counsel from an experienced U.S. immigration attorney before you plan any travel outside the U.S.  Laws can change at any time and DACA and Undocumented students have a potential risk of not being able to return to the U.S. if you leave. View the resources below:

If you are not able to study internationally, you can view our domestic programs such as the Washington Semester Program or domestic Travel Courses during Interterm or summer.

+ - Students Who are Veterans

Students who are veterans have the opportunity to experience a foreign country in a different way than they may have while in the military. In addition to federal, state, and Chapman aid, veterans have the ability to use the Post 9/11 GI Bill, with certain stipulations. The  bill can be used to pay tuition for study abroad programs that are an exchange, direct enroll, or faculty-led (no third-party provider programs allowed). In addition, the courses taken abroad must fulfill your requirements for graduation. All students complete a course pre-approval form before departure and can use this form request courses be designated in ways that fulfill Chapman requirements. Students receive Chapman credit and grades for all courses taken abroad.

Look here for additional information.

+ - Chapman University Statement on Diversity & Inclusion

Chapman University is deeply committed to enriching diversity and inclusion through on-going efforts to cultivate a welcoming campus climate for all members of the Chapman community. We strive to provide an inclusive academic curriculum, promote equity and access in recruitment and retention, and develop meaningful outreach programs and partnerships with our diverse local communities. We value diversity and inclusion in the learning environment and believe it is vital to the fulfillment of the university mission. It is our conviction that an inclusive learning environment facilitates complex, critical and creative thinking and that differences in identities, values, beliefs and perspectives are fundamental to a comprehensive education.

At Chapman the term diversity implies a respect for all and an understanding of individual differences including race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, genetic information and any other characteristic protected by applicable state or federal law, so that all members of the community are treated at all times with dignity and respect.

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