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Your Identity Abroad

Travel course, students at Buddhist temple
Who you are matters!

Studying abroad allows students to immerse themselves in a different culture, to see others from a different perspective, and to meet people from all over the world. Along with allowing you to take classes in your chosen field of study with a different academic and cultural perspective, it’s also an opportunity to learn new skills, appreciate and understand different ways of thinking, and discover strength and abilities you never knew you had! To maximize your experience and minimize interruptions, hassles and setbacks, planning ahead is crucial. One important aspect of this planning is examining the complexities of your own personal identity and culture, as well as the resources and culture of the destinations you’re considering.

Your Identity

There are many facets of your identity that will impact your study abroad experience. Attitudes toward different groups can vary greatly across cultures, and the way a host country’s majority culture understands itself also differs from region to region. No place in the world is monocultural, and preparing in advance to live and study outside the United States will not only ease the transition, but may impact your choice of study abroad location.

As you consider and prepare for an international experience, take some time to view the information and questions we've compiled as a guide to examine some of the more personal aspects of study abroad. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list but a good place to start.

We're Here to Help

While your planning will also include important academic considerations for studying abroad, you are also encouraged to discuss the topics in this resource guide with the MassArt Study Abroad Advisor and anyone else helping you plan to study abroad.


The IEC is ready to provide guidance and resources as you prepare for your experience!