API is committed to providing enriching international experiences to its participants. We believe in the importance of promoting acceptance, dignity, and respect among people of all backgrounds.
API demonstrates its commitment to inclusiveness by providing affordable and accessible programs, offering individualized support, and conducting ongoing diversity education and training for all API staff.
No matter who you are or where you come from, API will support you during your journey abroad.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Access Resources
API is dedicated to providing international education opportunities to students with disabilities. We strongly recommend that students with disabilities begin the process of planning their study abroad experience one year in advance, including meeting with the disabilities services and study abroad office at their home institution prior to submitting your application. Early planning provides the time required to identify the program that best suits your particular interests and needs and allows us and our partners to work with you to prepare a detailed accommodations plan. Below are some resources we hope you’ll find helpful as you begin planning for your time abroad!
API recommends that students with disabilities complete the OPTIONAL Student Inquiry Survey prior to submission of an application, and return to Carolyn Lutes, Senior Director of Student Services & Admissions.
Please note: Disclosure of a disability prior to submitting an application is completely optional and does not preclude students from being accepted to an API program. Disclosure of a disability allows API staff to work with students to identify the best program(s) to meet each student’s needs and goals for the term abroad. Information provided on this form will not be shared with API partners abroad, to include local host institutions, until after the student has been accepted into the API program, and only as needed. API will seek to provide students with special needs a comprehensive picture of the on-site environment, so as to set appropriate expectations, and to allow students to make informed decisions regarding program participation.
API will provide advice to students using our knowledge of the dynamics on-site: 1) The accessibility of housing, transportation, and university buildings (for students with mobility limitations); 2) The availability of medical facilities and health professionals (for students with mental health or medical concerns); 3) Academic policies (for students with learning disabilities); 4) Cultural perceptions and behaviors. As conditions exist abroad that may be beyond the control of API and its partners (e.g., some host countries have no legislation akin to the American with Disabilities Act that mandates the accessibility of governmental buildings, public transportation, sidewalks, academic institutions, and lodging for individuals with disabilities), certain sites may not be ideal for all students. API will work closely with students to identify alternate locations that can provide similar academic and cultural learning opportunities if the originally requested location cannot offer adequate accommodations.
TIPS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (excerpted from DiversityAbroad.com):
- Talk with other students with disabilities and learn about their experiences abroad.
- Let your counselor or program director know about your disability, if you are comfortable doing so, so that as many accommodations as possible can be made.
- Keep in mind that places abroad may not be as accessible as you are used to.
- Remember that people with disabilities may be treated differently than you are accustomed to. Research before you go so you have some idea of what to expect.
- Be flexible and think creatively about how you can accommodate your disability abroad.
A non-profit organization advocating for the disabled and helping students with disabilities realize their study abroad goals.
Offers free services and helpful resources for planning your education abroad experience.
Information to assist students from all backgrounds with their study abroad plans.
Offers helpful information and tips regarding accessibility overseas.
Provides country reports including information regarding disability policies in your prospective host country.
A University of Pittsburgh video focusing on students with disabilities abroad.
Traveling and living abroad can be financially challenging, but it’s not impossible! It is important to start the planning process early! The first step to planning for being abroad is to determine financial resources available.
Current students should contact their home institution’s study abroad and financial aid offices regarding federal, state, and institutional financial aid as well as any scholarships that are available.
There are many study abroad scholarship and grant opportunities available. See API’s webpage regarding outside funding resources at https://apiabroad.com/other-resources/financial-information/. Budgeting and planning is key to preparing for international experiences.
API is committed to supporting its participants’ international goals. Review the resources below for some starting points!
Hear from one student about how to fund your study abroad experience.
Includes some great fundraising suggestions…
FEA offers a variety of grants and scholarships to help dedicated American students who have financial restrictions participate in education abroad.
Crowdfunding is a great fundraising option. Use this site to learn how to raise money for your time abroad.
Free online database of study abroad scholarships, fellowships, and grants.
While being a first generation student can present its own set of challenges, you could not only be the first in your family to attend college or university but also the first in your family to travel or live abroad! To help support your journey, API is there every step of the way. We assist in organizing your housing, assisting course selection, navigating the visa process, and so much more! Whether it’s our on-site, local Resident Directors or our knowledgeable US-based program advisors, you’re going to have assistance the whole way through! API connects you to your fellow program participants before you go and our orientation program offers great opportunities to connect to your API group.
Some organizations offer scholarships directed towards First Generation students! We know that getting funded for college can be a challenge in itself so many organizations try to pull together funding opportunities to help you find your way abroad. Check Fund For Education Abroad, the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship, IIE Generation Study Abroad Scholarship, as well as API’s First Generation Scholarship.
Not only will this experience be one to remember, your time abroad will allow you to earn credit, travel beyond your front door, and open to door to new possible job opportunities! International experience is very valuable in today’s job market and will set you apart from other applicants. A first generation student who has studied abroad will show future employers, your school, and even yourself that you are independent, resourceful, globally minded, and more!
Article and stories on what it's like to study abroad and be the first in your family to travel.
It’s always important to learn as much as you can about your host country before you go abroad in order to have a positive, successful experience. For LGBTQ+ students, this includes understanding the country’s laws and cultural attitudes regarding sexuality and gender identity. Below are some resources to consult as you plan for your time abroad! Some countries may require you to modify your behaviors or face extensive discrimination or even legal consequences. It is a must for you to determine in advance how comfortable you feel adjusting your own behaviors to suit the cultural norms of a given culture and select a destination accordingly.
DiversityAbroad shares advice, resources, and must-ask questions for LGBTQ+ students to consider when looking to study abroad.
Includes resources and other helpful information for before you go and while you're there from the U.S. State Department
FEA offers a Rainbow Scholarship to a deserving LGBTQ+ student who aims to participate in a high-quality, rigorous education abroad program.
Assists with finding LGBTQ+ owned and welcoming travel-related businesses in over 75 countries.
Provides comprehensive data on LGBTQ+ laws around the world.
Tips for LGBTQ+ students abroad.
The National Center for Transgender Equality is the nation's leading social justice advocacy organization winning life-saving change for transgender people. The site includes helpful travel information for transgender students traveling abroad.
Can be found on the U.S. State Department website’s country information pages under “Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements.”
According to the Institute of International Education's Open Doors Report and the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, of the 1.6% of students who study abroad each year, less 30% were students of color on college and university campuses. Depending on where you go, you may be redefining what an American is for our international counterparts. Diverse representation is vital in creating stronger global citizenship within the U.S. and the world at large.
Seeking international education can be an opportunity to explore and expand your own understanding of yourself, your field of interest, and the global community. While funding your international experience can be daunting, it is possible when planning early and leveraging financial resources available. Whether it is a short or long-term program, API supports students by offering affordable programs, varied programs options, and excellent support services.
At API, we know that an international experience will be transformational, and we are committed to helping all students achieve their study abroad goals. We encourage you to speak with your study abroad offices and consult the articles, blogs, and videos below in order to prepare for your time abroad.
Diversity Abroad’s guide for racial and ethnic minority students going abroad.
U. Minnesota’s guide for students of color preparing to go abroad.
Helpful advice from a LatinX student who studied abroad in the UK.
9 tips for African-American students going abroad.
Latinx bloggers you should check out!
A University of Minnesota video geared to help you prepare for your time abroad.
Studying Abroad While Black - Video
Helpful tips for African-American students from a student who’s studied abroad.
Allabroad.us - Information for all students studying abroad!
Non-traditional students, or mature students, are generally students whose age falls outside of the average 18 to 25-year-old college age range. The good news is that non-traditional students can study, intern, teach, or volunteer abroad, too! The following resources provide helpful information regarding the benefits of going abroad and how to plan and prepare for your abroad experience.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, women account for two-thirds of all international program participants. Whether you are traveling independently or in a group, in order to have a positive and safe experience abroad, it is important to know the culture, laws, and social issues regarding women in each country where you’ll be traveling.
For experienced and new travelers alike, it’s always important to understand your host country’s cultural perspective and understanding of gender identity. From clothing to local attitudes, you may encounter cultural norms and gender norms that are different than what you may have experienced at home.
Gather resources and advice from previous participants who have traveled to your program’s part of the world to further understand their experiences about being a woman traveler. Are there major differences in host culture that may make you feel uncomfortable? Are there areas of your behavior or personality that may be found offensive or culturally insensitive in the host culture? Educate yourself on social and cultural norms in your host culture before you go.
With varying cultural norms place-to-place, it’s always in your best interest to practice personal safety measures. These can include but are not limited to never traveling alone at night, knowing emergency phone numbers (local and any program staff on site), avoiding engaging with catcallers, dressing in culturally appropriate clothing, etc. When in doubt, ask on-site staff for guidance.
We’ve collected the resources below to begin educating yourself in advance and prepare for a safe and rewarding time abroad!
Helpful reminders for your time abroad
A valuable online resource, including travel and safety tips, a packing guide, and much more.
A destination-based clothing guide.
Provides helpful travel ideas, health tips, money advice, and more.
Go Girl! The Black Woman’s Book of Travel and Adventure, Edited by Elaine Lee.
Contains 52 travel pieces presenting the perspective of black women, mostly African Americans. Contributors include Maya Angelou, Jill Nelson, Alice Walker, and Jamaica Kincaid.
Transitions Abroad guide for women.
Website outlines safety tips among other resources to consider when looking at gender identity abroad.
The first step in planning for your education abroad experience is to speak with your VA representative and your university study abroad office to determine the opportunities available to you so both the VA requirements and your educational goals are met. Use the links below for helpful information and tips, and then contact your home institution and API as soon as possible so that we can assist.
Studying abroad grants you the unique opportunity to explore world religions and the roles they play in different cultures. Whether you consider yourself to be spiritual, regularly practice a particular religion, or neither, you will encounter various deeply rooted religious aspects of your host country(ies). We encourage you to reflect upon your experiences with the religious aspects of your host culture and what they mean to you, your spirituality, and your personal culture. It may provide a time to further explore or deepen your own beliefs and identity. Depending on your background, identity, and chosen study abroad destination, you may find yourself in a different majority or minority religious group abroad than when in your home country. In general, study abroad places students in a new environment and allows them to interact with people coming from different cultural contexts and worldviews. This can be a time to discover the similarities of the human experience, as well as differences that bring richness to the world.
It is important to understand what to expect in terms of the spiritual beliefs of your host culture before studying abroad. We recommend researching your host culture, including its religious history and culture, in preparation for departure. If you plan to practice your faith during your program abroad, we recommend connecting with locals or on-site staff to learn more about the places of worship or faith communities available in your host city. Our staff are available to connect participants with resources in order to feel supported throughout their journey abroad.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Consider how religious culture might shape the secular life of a country. For example, depending on the dominant religion, weekends might be Friday and Saturday and/or certain religious holidays might be observed differently by schools and businesses. Stores and restaurants may be closed on certain days and public transportation schedules may be altered in order to honor the host culture’s religion. Alternatively, days that you might have come to expect to be treated as holidays may not be.
Brown University recommends considering the following questions before going abroad:
- What is the dominant religion in my host country? Or is there one at all?
- Will I be part of the religious majority or minority abroad?
- Are there any laws regarding religion? Is there a separation between religion and government?
- How tolerant is the host country of other religions? What about atheists and agnostics?
- Is it safe for me to wear religious symbols or clothing?
- What are ways I can respect the religion in my host country and participate in cultural events, even if I don't practice that religion?
- If you are planning to practice your religion abroad, are there any places of worship you can visit? If not, how will you plan to practice your religion?
- If you have religious dietary restrictions, will they be accommodated in your host country? If you are living in a homestay, are you open to living in a household with a different religious background than yours?
TIPS ABOUT RELIGION ABROAD FROM DIVERSITY ABROAD:
- Stay open minded about religious practices, even if you receive criticism for your beliefs.
- If you are planning to practice your religion abroad, our On-Site Resident Directors can help find local places of worship.
- If you have religious dietary restrictions, be sure to let your program coordinator know ahead of time, especially if you are living with a host family.
- Depending on where you go, religion may have a larger or smaller role than it does in the U.S.
- Use your experience abroad to learn about world religions the role they play in diverse cultures.