The following resources are intended to help facilitate in the broad participation of a diverse range of students, some of whom are traditionally underrepresented on study abroad programs. The Forum on Education Abroad defines underrepresented groups as categories of students who study abroad in fewer numbers than they represent in a larger population, such as the US, their home state, or their home institution. The terminology for "underrepresented group" is general because study abroad offices are giving students the freedom to define what the term means to them personally.
For example, students might identify themselves as ethnic minorities, LGBTQQI, adult learners, military veterans, first generation college students, heritage students, from a major of study that is underrepresented, single parents, or any number of other types of identification that they believe they can justify as underrepresented. This is especially important when applying for diversity-based scholarships.
Identity & Study Abroad
Studying abroad presents opportunities to think about identity in a new cultural context. This can be a rewarding learning experience that challenges preconceived notions about identity; the learning is enhanced for everyone when a diverse range of identity factors are considered through the lens of a new culture and society.
In the United States, we tend to use different characteristics of our personalities, backgrounds, and/or physical selves to help us discern who we are as individuals, and to help us understand how we fit within the larger context of our culture and population. Many of us identify with several groups at once.
When preparing to immerse yourself in another culture, it is important to reflect on the different ways you identify as an individual. You may find that a majority identification in the United States is a rarity in your host culture. For instance, if your race is a huge identifying factor for you at home, you might be surprised to learn that while abroad, your nationality (U.S. citizen) could become much more important to those around you.