Race and Ethnicity

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How you self-identify can be complex and intersectional, i.e., African-American, Asian-American, etc. It is likely that you have multiple identities that you will present while participating in your global experience. Depending on the history and culture of your host location or community, think of how your identity may be considered as you prepare for your global education experience.

Prior to departure, we encourage you to think about the following topics:

  • How might your identity be perceived as in the host culture?
  • What is the current relationship between the United States and your host location, if you are traveling abroad? 
  • How are race and ethnicity viewed in the host culture?
  • From outward appearances, will you be part of the majority or minority culture?  
  • What are some stereotypes locals might have about you based on your race or ethnicity?
While engaged in your global education experience, keep an open mind as you interact with the host culture and be prepared to be educated and to educate others in some instances. Seek out pre-departure support and advice from your Global Experience Advisor, Program Manager or other support staff. 
We recommend that on site you identify a support network with whom you can safely and openly reflect upon and process your experiences, whether they are challenging or easy. These individuals may be peers, on-site staff, faculty, your host family, or roommates.


  • Office of Diversity and Inclusion*- Designated department at Pitt with resources, events and contacts help create and sustain a university-wide culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  • Global Experiences Office - Our staff, including peer advisors, is made up of a range of identities and we are here to address your concerns and provide a safe place for you to express them and to ask questions.  
  • IES Abroad - Wide selection of student interviews, blogs, and more so that you can see how alums of their programs in various countries navigated their identity while studying abroad. 
  • Unpacked: A Study Abroad Guide for Students Like Me – IFSA-Butler webpage with stories, blogs and resources.