Personal identities can touch every aspect of off-campus study from deciding whether or not to participate to identifying a program to finding the right support resources in the pre-departure, on-site, and returnee phases. OCS advisers and others on campus are available to meet with students individually to discuss their goals and concerns. The resources in this section provide an overview of how to negotiate your personal identity in a new environment and how to engage in challenging conversations. Openness, curiosity, and self-knowledge are key skills to have when embarking on this journey!

General Resources


  • This 2014 Interactive Map provides an interactive experience to see what rights different countries have for LGBTQIA+ people as well as a tool for comparison across different countries. 
  • The IES LGBTQ+ Study Abroad resource includes various articles from LGBTQIA+ people about their study abroad experience. 
  • 5 LGBTQIA+ Study Abroad Safety Issues & How to Plan For Them is an article that covers topics such as dating across cultures, local law enforcement, healthcare, and relationships. 
  • Befrienders Worldwide is a suicide prevention hotline that the Trevor Project recommends for individuals outside of the United States.
Sexual Orientation Laws in the World Map
Sexual Orientations in the World This map by ILGA demonstrates the different protections and criminalization against LGBTQIA+ people around the world.

Race and Ethnicity

  • Proceedings from a Rosa Luxemburg Foundation-organized conference on How Black People in Europe Began to Organize counter the narrative that European populations are ethnically homogenous and deflate the myth of a lily-white continent.
  • The Center for Global Education, PLATO provides resources promoting study abroad participation among underrepresented students.
  • African American Perspectives on Study Abroad shares meaningful tips and tales from
  • Transitions Abroad has an article “Top 10 Reasons for African Americans to Study Abroad” that addresses the specific benefits to African American students of studying abroad as well as listing scholarship opportunities.
  • Encounters of Another Color is a New York Times article written by Stephanie Griffith that describes her experience as a black American student in Madrid, Spain.


  • Study International has a “Survival Guide for Muslim Students” that lists out specific recommendations for Muslim students based on other students’ experiences. 
  • Diversity Abroad has a post from a student that went abroad titled “Reflections on Studying Abroad as a Muslim Woman” that provides insights about her personal experiences abroad. 
  • The Franklin Students’ blog has a post from a student about what it is like to study abroad as a Pakistani-American student. 


Off-Campus Studies in collaboration with the Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) at Carleton encourages and supports students with disabilities as they explore opportunities to study off campus, domestically and internationally. Different cultures and communities offer different degrees of access and the availability of accommodation resources can vary significantly. The key to a successful off-campus study participation is early notification and planning. We encourage you to contact early in your planning process and to visit the OCS Policies and Procedures page for instructions on how to enact accommodations on OCS programs.


If you are the first in your family to attend college, you are probably the first to consider studying abroad. When looking at education abroad programs, consider the following:

  • How will I talk about the possibility of studying abroad with my family? How can I explain the benefits of studying abroad to them?
  • Who will help me plan my study abroad experience?
  • How will I finance my time abroad?
  • How will the distance from my family impact my education abroad experience?
  • Would I be comfortable in a culture completely different from what I am used to for an extended period of time?
  • How will I incorporate my experiences abroad when I return to Carleton?

There are many resources on campus to help you answer these questions. Information meetings and information tables are offered all throughout fall and winter terms. Read through the OCS website to find programs and answers to many of your questions. You can talk to friends, advisers, and professors and schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser. We are all happy to help!