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Race & Ethnicity

Racial and ethnic relations vary by culture, meaning that while you’re abroad, you may be part of an ethnic minority or majority for the first time in your life or have to think about your identity in a new way.

For instance, if you’re visiting a country where you have ethnic or racial roots, you may have to consider the local norms and expectations in ways that other students with different backgrounds may not. Remember that in countries with ethnic or racial conflicts, you may be inadvertently identified with one group or another simply based on your appearance. On the other hand, perhaps you’ll be considered American first, and your ethnic or racial identity will be secondary.

Learn About Your Destination

You can prepare yourself for the situations you may encounter by researching the minority, majority, and plurality racial and ethnic composition of your host country and exploring its history of racial and ethnic relations.

Learn About Your Destination

Access Resources

Study Abroad Scholarships

Many scholarships are available for study abroad, and some are reserved specifically for students of underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds. We've compiled a list of scholarships to help you get started.

Study Abroad Scholarships

Resources for Specific Racial & Ethnic Groups

Black or African-American

Many Northwestern students who identify as black or African American do study abroad!

If you are studying abroad on the African continent, you may wish to review our Heritage Seekers page for additional identity considerations (page coming soon).