Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at ISA
Our team at ISA is committed to providing exceptional support through identity-focused advising and resources for students, university partners, and ISA staff. We have developed our ISA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee to help serve all students and stakeholders, particularly the needs of underrepresented student populations including but not limited to students of color, first generation college students, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and students with disabilities.
Students show up in their full humanity on their international programs and our DEI Committee holistic support as they navigate and develop all of their intersecting identities in an international context. We do this through offering scholarships, identity-specific pre-departure orientation programming, individualized advising, and opportunities for ongoing reflection and connection with peers.
Access to international programming is currently unequal in the US and we are committed to minimizing barriers to help make study abroad more accessible to all students. We also seek to ensure that each person feels adequately supported to engage fully with their study abroad programming. Full participation ensures maximum intercultural learning that benefits the students and all communities that they engage with.
We recognize that given an individual’s intersections of experiences and identities, each student has a unique study abroad journey and that each international educator has a unique role to play in the inclusivity at their institution. In addition to supporting students, our team offers individualized and nuanced support for staff at partner universities and at ISA to ensure that international educators are also empowered to show up in full humanity so we may support students in theirs.
Our DEI Statement
As a member of the WorldStrides Higher Education division, ISA embraces a holistic and culturally responsive approach to supporting university students throughout their experiential education journey. We diligently serve all students and stakeholders but particularly center around the needs of historically minoritized populations and their intersecting identities. These populations include, but are not limited to, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), first generation college students, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, students with disabilities, military veterans, and students who embrace diverse spirituality. We do this through inclusive outreach and appreciative advising practices, exceptional in-country support, and comprehensive alumni engagement opportunities.
ISA is committed to facilitating quality programming to students with varying levels of accessibility. With our wide portfolio of program types and locations we’re confident there is a suitable and accessible program for each student. Accommodations abroad can be complex and take time, so those with accessibility needs should inform ISA of any accommodations requests as early as possible in the advising process. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or for more information.
Our kind and knowledgeable team is available to support though every stage of your study abroad journey! No question is too big or too small. Please reach out with any questions about ISA programs or life on-site to your country-specific Program Manager or the ISA Diversity Committee at email@example.com.
These country-specific diversity pages offer information about the societies and cultural history of ISA destinations. This information can be used to start your reflection about how your intersecting identities relate to the host community context. Sections for each country include Indigenous Communities, Languages, Race & Ethnicity, Religion, LGBTQIA+, and Disabilities Access.
Once you have been accepted into your ISA program and your final deadlines have passed, you will be given access to a comprehensive Online Orientation within the ISA Student Portal. In the "Abroad Expectations" tile of the Online Orientation, you will be provided with city-specific historical and cultural background related to various elements of diversity. Additional outside resources devoted to diversity in each city may also be provided within this tile.
Bridging Cultures Program
Upon arrival in the host country, you will participate in the ISA Bridging Cultures Program. During this program, ISA Resident Staff address four elements related to diversity abroad: common challenges, stereotypes about Americans, reflections on identities and culture, and coping strategies and understanding. Talking points during this program may include but are not limited to race, religion, gender, classism, LGBTQ relations, and identity.
ISA Today Blog and ISA Student Blog
Our team has developed articles related to diversity abroad on the ISA Today Blog to encourage readers to think critically about their culture and aspects of their identity as it relates to study abroad.
Additionally, ISA offers students the opportunity to blog about their experiences abroad from their own diverse perspectives. These posts can be found on the ISA Student Blog, and interested students should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
ISA Diversity Scholarship
The ISA Diversity Scholarship has been offered to students since 2008 and aims to make study abroad more accessible to students from a diversity of backgrounds. More information about this funding opportunity can be found on the ISA Scholarships page.
First Generation Students:
- Rainbow Special Interest Group (NAFSA)
- LGBTI Travelers - U.S. Department of State
- LGBT Guide - Goabroad.com
- Spartacus Gay Travel Index
- Mobility International USA
- Special Procedures - Airport Travel TSA
- Diversity Abroad - Adult Study Abroad
- Breaking Barriers - San Francisco State University
- Non-traditional scholarships - Collegescholarships.org
- Diversity Abroad
- Race/Ethnicity Resources - University of North Carolina at Wilmington
- International Religious Freedom Report - U.S. Department of State
- Religious Diversity Abroad - Diversity Abroad
- Religion and Spirituality Abroad - Northwestern University
- Information for Women Travelers - U.S. Department of State
- Women Abroad - Diversity Abroad
Handling Catcalls and Street Harassment Abroad