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international programs

Diversity & Inclusion

Office of International Programs

South Africa

The OIP strongly believes that education abroad should not be reserved for a select few. Given the relevance of a global education in preparing students for an increasingly competitive and internationalized workforce, it imperative that every BC student has the option of going abroad - regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, finances, on-campus committment or area of study. This commitment is rooted in the belief that all students' experiences overseas are enhanced through a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds.

See below for resources at BC, in addition to what is found in the OIP semester and summer handbooks. OIP advisors can direct students to location-specific services and materials. With any questions or concern, do not hesitate to reach out to the OIP.

Commonly held cultural attitudes regarding gender roles vary across cultures and may not always align with our own values or experience. In certain locations, women in particular may feel significantly different about what their gender identity means abroad than at home, and this may affect decisions about behavior, relationships, dress, safety, travel plans, and daily routines. When making decisions about behavior, actions, and relationships abroad, all students are urged to put their safety first. You are also encouraged to inform yourself throughout the study abroad process of local cultural cues and gender roles in order to help make the best decisions for you.

It is just as important for men to understand the prevailing gender roles in their program location, and to be sensitive to the challenges that women in the program may face that men may not. Your identity as a male may be different in another cultural context, and you are advised to research what that might entail.

On-campus Resources

Off-campus Resources

Tolerance towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) students varies by location and depends upon each country or area’s cultural norms and laws. In some countries, LGBTQ individuals are protected and have equal rights in their society, while there are other places where identifying as LGBTQ openly is punishable by law, or there may be no laws to protect an individual from hate crimes. While most LGBTQ students will not have any problems, it is important to know the legal regulations and conditions of your location before you go, to stay safe and make the most of your experience.

On-Campus Resources

Legal Resources

International Organizations

Funding

Travel Resources

Race and ethnicity is defined and talked about differently in other countries, and students may come across situations that differ from those experienced in the U.S. Those with whom you come into contact may make certain assumptions based on your physical appearance, as is the case in all countries. Some may be interested to learn more about you, but there may be others whose behavior toward you might make you uncomfortable. Generally, people will mean well. In many other countries, there is less of a sense of "political correctness" with regards to race and ethnicity. If at any point you feel unsafe, you should remove yourself immediately from the situation and get help, as needed.

Studying abroad provides an opportunity to engage in dialogues in a new and different manner; as a result it is recommended that all students research how questions of race and ethnicity are addressed and talked about in their host country.

On-campus Resources

Off-campus Resources

Navigating the terrain of faith, spirituality, and practice can be difficult in a new environment. It can also be challenging to understand how your own religious identity fits into your host culture. In some cases, you might find that you are a minority for the first time based on your religion, which can make you more aware of your beliefs. In addition to the resources below, OIP advisors can provide support for students looking for places of worship overseas, as well as answer questions about faith and religion in your host country.

On-Campus Resources

 
Religious Centers, Directories & Resources

Other Resources

Between training, competing, and school work, studying abroad seems like a distant dream for many athletes. However, student-athletes can and do go abroad. A few points to consider in selecting a program:

  • Timing: While it is not realistic to go abroad at the height of your sport season, there may be a time when you can get away. If you have a break between seasons, in the fall or spring, look into this as an option when defining your availability. Summer can also be a possibility.

  • Workouts: Will you be able to take a break from an intense workout regime during your time abroad or do you need to keep up daily in your fitness efforts? If you require a minimum level of fitness upkeep, you should be able to travel anywhere and work runs, hikes, and in-room workouts into your routine as needed.

  • Equipment: If your sport requires you to be more diligent in your training or requires specialized equipment, we recommend that you to speak to your coach about alternative fitness options while you are away. We can also identify programs that have the facilities you need.

  • Join a team abroad: If you are attending a university abroad, look for university teams or club sports to continue playing. This will also be a great way to integrate into the local culture.

On-campus Resources

Off-campus Resources

Funding

Access to facilities and resources for people with disabilities may not be the same abroad as it is in the U.S. We encourage students with documented disabilities to consider the types of accommodations they will need when exploring the possibilities for going abroad. Many BC programs are accessible to most students with disabilities, and we will work to ensure reasonable accommodations.

On-campus Resources

Off-campus Resources

Diversity Abroad Network