Diversity Abroad Resources for Underrepresented Student Groups

The Office of International Programs (OIP) seeks to promote cross-cultural awareness and enhance international understanding by providing students access to international opportunities. We also recognize the importance of providing students with access to a variety of resources while selecting a program, and throughout their experience abroad. This website provides general information and links to both internal AU and external resources for various groups of students who are traditionally underrepresented on study abroad programs. By providing access to these resources we hope to assist students in selecting the right program for them, encourage them to plan in advance, and to help students understand and adequately prepare for possible challenges prior to embarking on an international program. 

In addition to these resources, please review our Financial Aid & Funding Webpage to learn about scholarships and grants that may support your international experience.

The OIP makes every effort to ensure that students with disabilities can participate in our international opportunities. While we cannot guarantee facilities or support services will be available at each location, we do have a general understanding of the resources and accommodations provided by our partner institutions abroad. Because the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act do not apply to institutions outside of the United States, students with disabilities should start planning for their international program well in advance.

For more resources specific to students with disabilities, please visit our central study abroad office, AU Abroad.

Many Veterans and Active Duty Servicemembers have already represented the United States abroad. Studying abroad will be a different experience, but it can serve as an excellent complement to professional development and degree programs at AU. Planning is key for Veterans and Active Duty Servicemembers who want to use their VA Education Benefits to study abroad, and we strongly encourage students to contact AU Veteran Services as soon as possible to discuss funding options.

Existing Options for Students Seeking to Use VA Education Benefits Options to Participate in Study Abroad Opportunities: 

  • Instructor-Led Courses: In this scenario, a student travels to a foreign location with other class participants. Classes are led and taught by an AU instructor(s). Students may finish their courses at the foreign location, after returning to campus, and/or online.


AU and SIS are dedicated to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for the LGBTQ community on campus. However, attitudes towards LGBTQ people may differ significantly in other parts of the world, and LGBTQ students may face unique challenges during their time abroad. The OIP can provide some guidance on attitudes towards the LGBTQ community in different SIS Abroad locations.

Before departing on a study abroad program we encourage you to review the resources created by AU Abroad for LGBTQ students interested in studying abroad.

Students from ethnic and racial minority backgrounds may choose to identify themselves differently while abroad. It is important to note that residents of another country may consider students Americans before the ethnicity they identify as in the U.S. We believe in equal access to international education opportunities, so we encourage ethnic and racial minority students to consider studying abroad during their studies at AU.

Before departing on a study abroad program we encourage you to review the resources created by AU Abroad for students of color.

Even online students can take advantage of our many study abroad opportunities. Online students follow the same study abroad application process as on-campus students. Planning early and thinking about how you can fit study abroad into your personal and professional goals is key for online students. SIS Abroad is available to talk about studying abroad via email, over the phone or Skype.

We welcome and encourage all international students to explore study abroad opportunities offered by the OIP. International students on an F-1 or J-1 visa to the US may need to take additional steps to maintain their US immigration status while abroad and may also need to obtain a foreign visa based on their home country for the duration of the study abroad program. Therefore, we suggest that international students start the study abroad application process as early as possible and be in contact with International Student & Scholar Services and the SIS Abroad office throughout the process.

ISSS provides specific resources on maintaining your immigration status while studying abroad as an international student at AU.

First-generation college students are often underrepresented in study abroad programs. Potential barriers to studying abroad may include financial constraints, minimal support from family and friends, and a lack of knowledge about the opportunities and processes. We encourage first-generation students to consider their studying abroad and offer additional resources on our central study abroad office webpage.

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