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Diversity Abroad

Diversity Scholarship
Religion
Race & Ethnicity
Sexual Orientation
Individuals with Disabilities
Gender Issues

The University of Kentucky has long demonstrated a commitment to diversity and equity that is deeply rooted in both the historic mission and the philosophy of higher education. The University strives to maintain an environment free of discrimination and harassment against any person because of race, color, national origin, ethnic origin, religion, creed, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, uniformed service, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, social or economic status, or whether the person is a smoker or nonsmoker, as long as the person complies with University policy concerning smoking. The broad range of perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds inherent in multicultural diversity creates rich learning communities from which all students have the opportunity to benefit. (See also Governing Regulation XIV.B.1, Nondiscrimination Policy.)

Achieving full participation and integration of individuals from all backgrounds requires the cooperative efforts of all departments, offices and personnel of the University. UK Education Abroad is committed to making education abroad accessible to all UK students and recognizes that education abroad is not just a student-focused experience but rather a holistic, intercultural learning opportunity. A student is likely to encounter a significant range of attitudes regarding diversity issues while abroad. Understanding how these perceptions can influence a study abroad experience increases understanding of the new culture in which the student be living.

After making the decision to study abroad, it is important that a student gives thought to what will be gained from this experience, and should consider these questions: What will you learn while abroad and how will you use the experience later on? Will study abroad allow you to pursue new research or have an internship? Compare your pre-departure goals. Are you interested in sharing their experience with others? Before students return to the US it is helpful for them to consider how change in their self-identity and/or worldview may affect their relationship with family and friends back home.


UK Education Abroad Diversity Scholarship

In our efforts to support a diverse student population who participate in education abroad, UK Education Abroad has teamed up with API and ISA to award the UK Education Abroad Diversity Scholarship

Award Amounts: Two scholarships of $5,000 will be awarded for the Spring 2016 application cycle, one provided by API and the other provided by ISA.

Consideration shall be given to all full-time, undergraduate UK students enrolled or planning to enroll in an approved API or ISA education abroad program (Summer, Fall, Spring). UK sponsored programs customized by API or ISA are not considered to be approved API or ISA programs. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0) required at time of scholarship application. Due to GPA requirements, freshmen and transfer students are unable to apply during their first semester at UK. Award recipients must be in good academic and judicial standing at the time of award and during the semester prior to their intended term abroad.


Preparing to Study Abroad
Preparing to study abroad can be unsettling because most students know little about the new culture and environment in which they will be living. To prepare for this experience, students should allow time to consider how religion or spiritual beliefs may influence their encounters abroad by asking themselves: What is the predominant religion of the host country? How might my beliefs and practices be viewed in that society and how could this influence people's interactions with me? Learning in advance about the culture and religion of a given country can alleviate potential misunderstandings.

While Living & Studying Abroad
Students should take advantage of the experience abroad to understand how people in the host culture worship and engage in different religious practices. A good way to do this is by considering the following questions: What are the host community's important religious observances and ceremonies? Do you wish to study the predominant religion of the host country? Are religions associated with differing levels of social class? How will you practice religion while abroad? Will your beliefs preclude them from befriending people from other religious backgrounds? Do you wish to connect with a group or attend a religious service while abroad? Are there members of the students religion in the area where you will be living? What actions and beliefs are frowned upon or considered taboo in this culture? Is atheism accepted? Students should speak with their Education Abroad advisor about such questions so that Education Abroad can assist in gathering the information needed prior to departure.

Bringing the Experience Home
Preparing for the return home is as important as preparing for departure. Students should think about what has been gained from this experience. What have you learned while abroad and how will you use the experience later on? Did study abroad allow you to pursue new research or have an internship? Compare these to your pre-departure goals. Are you interested in sharing your experience with others? Before returning to the US it is helpful to consider how changes in self-identity may affect relationships with family and friends back home.

Resources
Muslim Student Association
http://www.uky.edu/StudentOrgs/MSA
ukymsa@gmail.com
UK Newman Center
320 Rose Ln
newmancenter.home.insightbb.com/
timenewman@aol.com
Office for Institutional Diversity
311 Main Building
uky.edu/diversity
vpid@uky.edu


Preparing to Study Abroad
Preparing to study abroad can be very unsettling, because students may know little about the new culture and environment in which they will be living. As students prepare for this experience, they should allow time to consider how their race or ethnicity may influence their encounters abroad. Just as there is discrimination and racial prejudice in the United States, there may be similar in a student's host country. Students should consider these questions: How might they be viewed in this society and could this influence people's interactions with them? What disadvantages and privileges are associated with race and ethnicity in this culture? Students should speak with their UK Education Abroad advisor about these questions so that we can assist in the gathering the proper information.

While Living & Studying Abroad
While abroad, students will likely have encounters that challenge their preconceived definitions of racism and prejudice. These interactions allow students to explore culturally specific stereotypes and views of acceptance and tolerance. During time abroad, a student may examine his/her own values and beliefs and arrive at a better understanding of his or herself. Students should take advantage of this experience abroad to understand how people in the host culture define racism and prejudice and how they choose to respond to it. Some good questions to think about include: Who are the minority populations in this culture and how might you connect with them? Do you know the laws related to racial discrimination in the host country? Will you be a minority in this culture, and if so, how might this influence their engagement with the local culture? Will you be a member of a majority for the first time?

Bringing the Experience Home
Preparing for the return home is as important as preparing for departure. Students should think about what has been gained from this experience. What have you learned while abroad and how will you use the experience later on? Did study abroad allow you to pursue new research or have an internship? Compare these to your pre-departure goals. Are you interested in sharing your experience with others? Before returning to the US it is helpful to consider how changes in self-identity may affect relationships with family and friends back home.

Resources
Martin Luther King, Jr. Cultural Center
313 Blazer Hall
uky.edu/MLKCC
859.257.4130
Office for Institutional Diversity
311 Main Building
uky.edu/diversity
vpid@uky.edu


Preparing to Study Abroad
Before leaving the US, we encourage students to learn as much as possible about the country where they plan to study. Cultures vary in terms of how sexuality and sexual identity are defined and understood. Students are encouraged to explore and research the cultural, legal, and social issues relevant to the host culture. What are the culture specific norms of friendship and dating for relationships between people of any sexual orientation? Are you interested in talking with other students who have studied abroad about general attitudes toward LGBT persons? Students should speak with their UK Education Abroad advisor about these questions so that they can assist in gathering information.

While Living & Studying Abroad
It is important that all students are aware of and consider the implications of being identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered in the host-culture and how being "out" might impact interactions. Students go abroad to experience a different way of life, and with that comes the opportunity to explore his or her sexual orientation in a new context. Do you anticipate "coming out" during this experience abroad? Do you want to connect with local LGBT organizations or support services while abroad? Students should think about how they will answer questions about their sexual orientation in the language of their host country.

Bringing the Experience Home
Preparing for the return home is as important as preparing for departure. Students should begin to think about what has been gained from this experience. What have you learned while abroad and how will you use the experience later on? Did study abroad allow you to pursue new research or have an internship? Compare to your pre-departure goals. Are you interested in sharing their experience with others? Before students return to the US it is helpful to consider how changes in sexual identity may affect relationships with family and friends back home.

Resources
OUTsource
outsource.spruz.com
UK Gay/Straight Alliance
sweb.uky.edu/StudentOrgs/UKGSA
UK.LGBTA@gmail.com
Office for Institutional Diversity
311 Main Building
uky.edu/diversity
vpid@uky.edu


Preparing to Study Abroad
The choice of a study abroad program is an important one. Students with disabilities should be informed about accessibility & accommodations before making a final decision of where to go. Remember that other cultures may provide disability access in a different way. Students should learn about what types of accommodation are typically provided in the host country, and should be flexible and open to different ways of accommodating potential needs. It is best to discuss plans early on with advisors at the Disability Center so assistance with program selection can be provided.

While Living & Studying Abroad
Students should remember that the most important quality for any study abroad participant is flexibility. Students are going abroad to experience a different way of life, which may include a different way of dealing with special needs and a different degree of independence than a student may be used to. It will be important to communicate needs with program staff, but it is equally important to consider alternative ways to meet those needs. In preparation, students should think about how they will answer questions about their disability in the language of your host country--look up key vocabulary words ahead of time. How does this culture define disability access and how are people with disabilities integrated within the society?

Bringing the Experience Home
Preparing for the return home is as important as preparing for departure. Students should think about what they have gained from this experience. What have you learned while abroad and how will you use the experience later on? Did study abroad allow you to pursue new research or have an internship? Compare these to the pre-departure goals. Are you interested in sharing your experience with others? Before returning to the US it is helpful to consider how changes in self-identity may affect relationships with family and friends back home.

Resources
UK Disability Resource Center
www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/DisabilityResourceCenter
725 Rose Street, Suite 407
859.257.2754
Mobility International USA
www.miusa.org/ncde/individuals/finaid.htm
Offers extensive financial aid information specifi­cally available for people with disabilities to study abroad.
Rotary International
www.rotary.org
Rotary International strongly encourages students with disabilities to apply for their
Ambassadorial Scholarships.


Preparing to Study Abroad
One of the more fascinating and perplexing issues for students abroad involves relationships and interactions between men and women. It is important to recognize how heavily cultural differences affect this dynamic of social exchange. Students should research gender roles in the culture where they will be studying by considering these questions: What is the history of gender relations within that culture? How are American women perceived there? How might your gender influence people's interactions with you? What disadvantages and privileges are associated with gender in the host culture?

While Living & Studying Abroad
Common American perceptions of appropriate male/female interaction may not correspond with the established patterns in other countries. This will become clearer to students as they begin making new friends and integrating into daily life abroad. Studying abroad gives students the opportunity to explore culturally-specific patterns of gender roles. While abroad, students should observe how gender interaction can provide deeper insight into the cultural values of the host country. It is important to learn what the expected dress codes are for women and the consequences of not following these codes. It is also important for students to think about these questions: Are there particular locations or activities in your host country that are considered unsafe for women? What are the social norms for romantic relationships? Students should speak with their Education Abroad advisor about such questions so they can assist in gathering the information needed prior to departure.

Bringing the Experience Home
Preparing for the return home is as important as preparing for departure. Students should think about what they have gained from this experience. What have you learned while abroad and how will you use the experience later on? Did study abroad allow you to pursue new research or have an internship? Compare these to the pre-departure goals. Are you interested in sharing your experience with others? Before returning to the US it is helpful to consider how changes in self-identity may affect relationships with family and friends back home.

Resources
Office for Institutional Diversity
311 Main Building
uky.edu/diversity
vpid@uky.edu