What to Expect

IUPUI is committed to providing support for ALL students who wish to study abroad

In order to successfully navigate yourself through your international experience, it is best to research your potential destination(s) so you can be prepared for any challenges that you may face. Sexual identity, race, gender, and other issues may be approached differently in the host country where you choose to study abroad. 

The Study Abroad Office is here to advise you on any concerns and provide resources to assist with your transition to life abroad. Below, we have included several resources for you to help get you started.

Country Specific Resources

  • Diversity Abroad's Destination Guides: general information on select countries and tips for students of various identities for visiting those countries
  • U.S. Department of State Country Information: provides safety and security information for every country in the world

If you wish to speak with an advisor about international experiences as it relates to your identity or study abroad in general, please feel free to contact us via email or come in during our walk in hours, Monday - Friday, 9AM-5PM.

  • Accessibility

    Studying abroad is an incredible experience and the Study Abroad Office encourages everyone, regardless of ability, to consider participating in a study abroad program during their time at IUPUI. While you may face challenges during your time abroad, with advance planning and flexibility studying abroad is possible for students with different abilities.

    As you plan, keep in mind that perceptions of individuals with disabilities and legislation around accessibility may differ from your home country (e.g. the Americans with Disabilities Act is not in effect in other countries or assumptions about people with disabilities may be different).

    Flexibility is key when picking out a study abroad program. All IUPUI programs may not be able to accommodate your needs and interests, so if you would like to discuss your study abroad options, please contact the Study Abroad Office. If you are registered for services with your home school's adaptive education office, please speak with our office and program leaders to develop a support plan.

    General Resources for Studying Abroad
    Legal considerations

    The Americans with Disabilities Act is not universal across the world and not all countries have legal protections for people with disabilities

    If you wish to speak with an advisor about the accessibility of international experiences during your time at IUPUI or study abroad in general, please feel free to contact us via email or come in during our walk in hours, Monday-Friday, 9AM-5PM. Please also contact Adaptive Educational Services for further resources.

  • Gender

    Gender roles and the acceptable behavior for individual genders may differ in your host country from your home country. To understand the local attitudes toward different genders, it is best to research your host country(ies). While it may be frustrating or challenging at times, it’s important to try to understand gender roles from the perspective of your host culture as that is how you will be perceived. Socially acceptable or friendly actions in the United States can send a completely different message while abroad. Behaving and even dressing like the locals will give you a better sense of life in that culture and will help you avoid unwanted attention or standing out as a foreigner.

    Another gender related aspect to take into consideration when choosing a study abroad program is your health. Access to medication, reproductive health care, and menstruation products may be different than it is in your home country. Make sure any medication you take is legal in your host country and that you can access any health care products you may need throughout the length of your program.

    General Resources for Studying Abroad
    Information for Transgender students

    If you wish to speak with an advisor about international experiences as it relates your gender identity or study abroad in general, please feel free to contact us via email or come in during our walk in hours, Monday- Friday, 9AM-5PM. Please also contact the Office for Women or the LGBTQ+ Center for further resources.

  • LGBTQ+

    Studying abroad can provide a unique opportunity to explore LGBTQ+ communities in other countries as well as their history and culture. It is important to keep in mind that every country is different and that students should be aware of their chosen study abroad program’s environment in regards to the expression of LGBTQ+ identity.

    Below is a list of resources for LGBTQ+ students to view and look through to get a better understanding of traveling abroad.

    General Resources for Studying Abroad
    Legal Considerations
    Information for Transgender students
    Historical resource
    Scholarships

    If you wish to speak with an advisor about international experiences as it relates your LGBTQ+ identity or study abroad in general, please feel free to contact us via email or come in during our walk in hours, Monday- Friday, 9AM-5PM. Please also contact the LGBTQ+ Center for further resources and/or references to LGBTQ+ members that have studied abroad.

     

  • Mental Health

    Because an experience abroad can be physically, mentally and emotionally demanding, think carefully about your mental health as you prepare to study abroad. A certain amount of stress due to culture shock and a change in living conditions is a normal part of an experience abroad and may aggravate an illness you have under control at home. Before your program, discuss any mental health concerns with your doctor or counselor and create a plan for how you will handle any anticipated stressors and mental health needs abroad.

    Keep in mind that access to health care (including counseling in your native language) and medications may differ in your host country. In some countries, mental health resources may be limited and some medications may be illegal. Make sure any medication you take is legal in your host country and that you can access any health care you may need throughout the length of your program.

    General Resources for Studying Abroad
    • Diversity Abroad article Managing Mental Health Abroad: Tips from a previous study abroad participant on how to prepare for your study abroad program in relation to your mental health
    • University of South Florida’s Mental Health Wellness Abroad: General guide and tips for taking care of your mental health while abroad
    • CDC's Mental Health and Travel: Guide for what to do in regards to your mental health and your program and when to do it
    • Review the International Narcotics Control Board and the country's official government websites in order to determine if any of your medication is illegal in your hose country
    • GeoBlue Coverage Information (if you are obtaining insurance through the IUPUI Study Abroad Office)
  • Race/Ethnicity

    Students from various racial and ethnic backgrounds who study abroad can gain a deeper understanding of their culture and own identity; however they may also experience some challenges associated with the identities they hold. Studying abroad for anyon eis a transition and students with differing identities and physical features from the country they're visiting can result in curiosities, stares, comments, inquiries, and sometimes overt prejudicial treatment. Program staff both here and abroad can advise students on how to handle these interations at your program site.

    If you wish to discuss any aspect of the study abroad experience, related to your ethnicity or otherwise, please contact any of the advisors in the IUPUI Study Abroad Office.

    General Resources for Studying Abroad
    Scholarships
  • Religion

    The role religion plays in one’s daily life varies across all countries, cultures, and individuals. In some countries, the laws may reflect the tenets of the dominant religion and in others the government could be completely secular. Regardless of your own religious viewpoints, you will probably be exposed to different beliefs during your time abroad. While immersed in the culture of your host country, remember that you will be expected to follow the local laws and may also be expected to follow cultural norms, including religious expression, diet, and dress.

    General Resources for Studying Abroad