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Race, Ethnicity and Nationality

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Race, Ethnicity and Nationality

Race & Ethnicity

For some members of a specific race or ethnicity, studying abroad can be a journey towards discovering heritage or family history. For others it is simply an exciting journey out of their “comfort zone.”  Regardless of the motives behind your choice of a location, support is available at OU and elsewhere to help you select the right location that will allow you to learn more about yourself and how you identify with those around you.

  • Stereotypes exist in every culture of the world.
    What are some of the most common stereotypes in the place(s) you plan to go while you’re abroad?
  • Besides looking into stereotypes, try doing some research on the cultural norms and expectations in the host culture(s).
    While no one expects that you could adapt to all the norms of a culture, knowing a bit about what they are will make you even better prepared and more informed. 
  • You may encounter overly curious locals or people with biased attitudes and possibly overt racism in your host country.
    How might that affect your experience?
  • What do travelers like you seek out in your host country?
    Specific cultural/historical sites, a trendy market, certain types of eateries? Connect with travellers to ask about any “insider tips” they can give you about places or sites and what they’ve gotten out of the experience. You may decide to take their advice or just use it on the path to your own unique journey.
  • Who is part of your support network and how will you continue reaching out to those people while you’re abroad?

"From the moment I started college, I knew I wanted to study abroad. Originally, I had in mind that the most feasible option would be to explore summer programs, however, when I found out that Price had a semester long program catered to Marketing and Supply Chain students, I had no doubt it was what I wanted to do. Being able to take trips through the Price program was a once in a lifetime experience and one of my favorites was being in Milan during fashion week. The OU study abroad program allowed me to meet wonderful people and immerse myself in a completely new environment, while still having the comfort of OU."

– Kennedy Pipkin, Spring 2019

 “I was an engineering major, so studying abroad for a semester wasn’t really an option or I would have ended up falling a year behind based on my class schedules. I took an entire fifth year just so I would have this opportunity. After that year I knew I'd start a career, but you only get so many vacation days. From everyone I spoke to about whether taking a fifth year and studying abroad would look bad to companies, they said it’s actually just the opposite. They said companies love seeing a willingness and eagerness to learn. When you’re abroad you are immersed in new territory where you are learning every day, inside and outside the classroom. The experiences I had far outweighed any doubts that could have ever been in my mind.”

– Alejandro Martinez, Spring 2019


Students who attend OU and are non-US citizens or international students have options when it comes to studying abroad. Your choices are not necessarily restricted because of your nationality, although there may be a few additional steps to take in order to comply with US immigration procedures and/or visa application processes for the country you choose. OU’s Office of Education Abroad can help you explore the variety of options open to all OU students for study abroad locations and can work with you to understand the requirements for each destination and to ensure you have everything in place to start the journey abroad.

  • Your current US visa status may be one of the considerations that you need to take into account when applying for a student visa for another location.
    Check your country’s immigrations requirements to understand what you may need to study abroad in a specific location abroad.
  •  Depending on your citizenship, you may need a “transit visa” even just to pass through a country on the way to your final destination.  
    Think through all your travel plans (including where you may want to go on long weekends and during breaks) before you depart to make sure you are informed about each country’s travel and visa requirements.                                               

“I didn’t think that I could study abroad as an OU international student. I have always been interested in exploring my options but I didn’t realize that it would be a possibility for me until I was talking with some friends and found out that I could study abroad too. In fact, when I started discussing the possibilities with an adviser, I realized that I had lots of options and that I could keep my scholarship!”  

– Ivana Lopatic

“I really enjoyed myself abroad and a side benefit of the semester was that I created closer relationships with other OU students who were on my program.” 

– Sifiso Ginindza