Study Abroad: Opportunity and Challenge
Study abroad is an opportunity to compare another culture to your own in ways big and small, from food to the way each culture views fundamental issues like inequality and diversity. You will see nationality, race, ethnicity, social class, gender, sexuality, ability, religion through a different lens, and gain new perspectives on yourself, your home culture, and your place in the world.
Students often wonder how they will be perceived in their host culture. This is a reasonable question, since your host culture’s perspectives on diverse identities may affect your experience abroad, sometimes in ways that are emotionally and personally challenging. That does not mean you cannot or should not study abroad. It means you should be informed, consider the cultural context of your host country in advance, and be prepared to step outside your comfort zone safely and knowledgeably.
Below are some resources to help you navigate your journey. OCS advisers and your peers—students from the host country and students who have studied abroad—are also great resources.