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Heritage Seeking Students

Seeking to connect and learn about your ancestry and culture first hand can be an emotional experience. Many of the ideas and presumptions that you may hold about your host country will be challenged while abroad. Make sure to enter the country with an open mind. Some locals might accept you because of similarity in identity, but some might view you as an outsider due to the cultural difference. Many students develop a deeper understanding of their identities after studying abroad.

  • How will I be perceived in my study abroad country?
  • How does the country's culture compare to the culture I was raised with?
  • Will there be other heritage students in my program?
  • Is there a language requirement?
  • Does the program offer the opportunity to work with the local community or the public?
  • Are there excursions offered through the program, and if so, what are they?
  • How will I handle it if relatives ask for money or other favors while I am there?
  • What do I hope to discover or achieve while abroad?
  • Do I speak the language of my host/home country?
  • How should I react if other students on the program look to me to be an "expert," even if I'm not?
  • How should I react if I find something to be offensive?
  • What if I am not accepted in my host country?
  • How should I react if a local person expects more of me (e.g., culturally, behaviorally, linguistically, etc.) than other students who don't share the same cultural or ethnic heritage?

We encourage you to meet with MassArt's Study Abroad Advisor to discuss the topics in this resource guide and make your study abroad plan.

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