Diversity

Friends

What do we mean by diversity in off-campus studies? Diversity covers a number of aspects in relation to off-campus studies. It’s important to remember to enter your off-campus study experience with an open mind and a positive attitude as you encounter differences. This will open many doors for you which remain closed to others.

What to Expect

If you will be studying in another country or a large U.S. city, you will find the way of life will be much different from what you are accustomed to in Walla Walla. A good way to understand a foreign culture or even the inner-workings of a major U.S. city is to listen to and talk with locals. Be observant when meeting people and try not to judge people and situations by what you are used to. Before departing to the location that will be your home for the next semester or year, read up on the country or city, watch movies based in your host location, and talk to people who have lived in or traveled to your destination. The information you gather through those sources will help give you an idea of what you can expect upon arrival.

Multicultural and GLBTQ Students

Multicultural and GLBTQ students may encounter different responses to their identity from people in their host culture abroad than they are accustomed to in the U.S. You should always feel comfortable speaking with an OCS adviser or your program provider about any questions or concerns you might have and to gather information specific to your study abroad setting.

Religion

Religion is viewed differently around the world. You will encounter people with varying religious views while abroad. It is important to take it all in context and understand how religion fits into different cultures and how religion is perceived in the country where you are studying. For more information, please see International Religious Freedoms.

Women

Women in other parts of the world are not always granted the same rights as in the U.S., which can be difficult to grasp as a newcomer to a region. Prepare yourself by reading about the perceptions and expectations of women in the country you will be traveling to. For further reading, please click on Transitions Abroad Tips for Women Travelers