Prospective Students

Diversity Abroad

In order to develop an inclusive community for instruction, research and outreach, the University of Connecticut embraces diversity and cultivates leadership, integrity, and engaged citizenship among students, faculty and staff. This collegial and vibrant environment promotes and nurtures perspectives that are enabled through differences in culture, experience and values. To achieve this goal, the university emphasizes diversity in the recruitment, retention and advancement of students, faculty and staff.

UConn Education Abroad is committed to making education abroad accessible to all UConn students regardless of an individual’s race, color, ethnicity, religious creed, age, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, veteran’s status, gender identity or expression, or membership in any other protected classes. UConn Education Abroad also recognizes that study abroad is a holistic, intercultural learning opportunity. A student is likely to encounter an array of attitudes and responses regarding diversity issues while abroad. For more information on diversity and inclusion abroad, please visit DiversityAbroad.com's Guide to Diversity and Inclusion Abroad.

As a first generation student, just coming to UConn may have seemed out of reach at some point, not to mention the thought of going abroad, however, there are many resources available to assist students who are interested in this opportunity of a lifetime. Some programs are designed specifically for SSS students, but there are hundreds more you could apply for, and it could seem very overwhelming. Meet with an Education Abroad Advisor to discuss any questions or concerns you may have and to learn about the benefits of a study abroad experience. You may have questions regarding affordability, additional funding sources, or even just how to discuss studying abroad with your family. UConn Education Abroad and Student Support Services (SSS) are here to help you with every step of this journey.
 
Questions to discuss with a Study Abroad Advisor
• Since no one in my family has ever studied abroad, who can help me check to see that I am on the right track as I plan?
• Is it okay if I schedule an extra appointment with my study abroad advisor if I'm not sure what to do?
• How do I talk to my family and friends about study abroad?
• What resources are available to me?
• How will I make studying abroad affordable?
• Are there additional funding sources I can look into to help finance study abroad?
 
Resources
First Generation Student is a website devoted to helping first generation students.
 

UConn Education Abroad is committed to facilitating access to every student interested in studying abroad. Accordingly, it works closely with the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD), wherever necessary, to accommodate students with disabilities. Please contact the Center for Students with Disabilities, by phoning, 860-486-2020 which will, in turn, get in touch with UConn Education Abroad to coordinate efforts.

Click Here for the Center for Students with Disabilities Education Abroad Guide.

Access to the World Scholarships

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, CIEE and Mobility International USA have partnered to offer motivated and high-achieving U.S. college students with disabilities the opportunity to study abroad. Several scholarships are still available to participate in a CIEE study abroad programs in 2016! Applicants with diverse disabilities are encouraged to apply and may choose from one of CIEE’s four-week summer 2016 programs in diverse sites or its Spring 2016 Open Campus programs at the new Global Institute in Berlin, Germany. Learn more, apply, and spread the word! Program Applications for 2016 programs are due by October 1.

Link: http://www.miusa.org/news/2015/scholarships

Latest AWAY Journal Follows Students with Disabilities Abroad and Back

Whether they want to dive in or just dip their toes in the water, every disabled student who dreams of going abroad should know that it’s possible and that there is a new resource to show them how. MIUSA’s latest issue of A World Awaits You (AWAY) introduces eight U.S. college and university students with disabilities and their strategies for successfully studying abroad in countries ranging from Israel to China to Uganda. It also includes a guide to ten study abroad scholarships that encourage diversity so that more students can take the plunge! Read our fully-accessible online publication here.

Link: http://www.miusa.org/resource/booksjournals/awaystudyabroad

New MIUSA Podcast Makes Waves

What do people with disabilities set in motion when they travel for international exchange? To find out, tune in to MIUSA’s first-ever Ripple Effects podcast! Every episode contains vivid accounts of how travelers with disabilities abroad are shifting ideas of what is possible. In support of the #BlindAbroad campaign, the first series of guests are blind or low vision exchange alumni from the U.S. and abroad. Play our first two episodes online, and subscribe on iTunes!

Link: http://www.miusa.org/resource/podcast/rippleeffects

New Videos Encourage People with Disabilities to Go Abroad!

International opportunities through study or volunteering abroad can have far-reaching benefits. In the new “Passport to Possibilities” videos, people with disabilities share their experiences going abroad, including their tips for funding travel and getting around in a foreign country. Also learn how the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE), a project of MIUSA and the U.S. Department of State, can help in preparations. Captions provided.

Link: http://www.miusa.org/news/2015/passportvideo

Some countries are very open and accepting of LGTBQ people, but others are not and could put students in a hostile situation or even put their safety at risk. Students should become informed by researching the attitudes, customs and laws in the country they are considering.

Questions for LGTBQ Students to Consider (developed by UMass Amherst, The Stonewall Center and CISabroad)

About You:
• How open will I be about my sexual orientation and gender identity with my teachers, peers, friends, host family, and others?
• How important is it to me to find other LGBTQ students and friends while abroad? How will I make connections with other LGBTQ students, local residents, or community organizations? What are my expectations about seeking and finding community?
• Will I need access to any medications, supplies, or services due to my transgender status? Are they available in my host country? If not, will I need any additional documentation to travel with my medication or supplies?
• What are my safety needs and perceptions, and how can they best be met? Is the program able to make accommodations for students who request single rooms, private baths, or specific roommates?
• What resources are available in my host country for LGBTQ people?
• Are there any LGBTQ friendly establishments nearby? How can I find them?

About the Culture of Your Host Country:
• What are the cultural attitudes toward sexual orientation and gender identity in my host country?
• What are considered typical male and female social behavior and customary gender relations and social patterns in the host country?
• What may make the coming out process different in the host country compared to the U.S.?
• What are the norms and behavioral expectations within LGBTQ communities in my host country?
• What is the social perception of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in my host country? How LGB people are socially defined? What roles do transgender people play in the host culture?

About Your Host Country’s Laws:
• Are there “public indecency/decency” laws? Or any laws that criminalize same-sex sexual relationships, or ways men and women socially interact?
• What is the age of consent? Does it differ for heterosexual versus same-sex couples?
• Does the law require having “proper documentation” at all times?
• What is the general police attitude toward the local LGBTQ community?
• Is the law applied the same in rural areas as in urban areas?

About Perceptions of People from the U.S. and LGBTQ People:
• What is the attitude of local residents toward people from the U.S., people of other nationalities, “tourists,” and LGBTQ “tourists”?
• What is the general police attitude towards the same as above?
• What is the general police attitude toward LGBTQ people who are visiting the country?

Resources:

We encourage all non-US Citizens to study abroad while at UConn, but want to make sure that you verify if participating on a program abroad will affect your US Student Visa Status, US immigration status, or your eligibility to re-enter the US upon return. Below are some guidelines and tips.

  • Set up an appointment with the Education Abroad Office (http://abroad.uconn.edu/our-team)
  • Notify the education abroad advisor about the following:
    • Current citizenship status & country of origin
    • Desired study abroad destination
    • Duration of program
  • Visit the International Students and Scholar Services Office (ISSS) (http://isss.uconn.edu/)
    • Verify if studying abroad will affect US Visa/Immigration status
    • Confirm all requirements, restrictions or deadlines
    • Ensure you know about all required documentation you will need to bring with you while studying abroad
  • Be sure to maintain any minimum unit requirements while studying abroad (undergrads must take the equivalent of 12 US credits to be considered a full time student)
  • Research student Visa requirements and deadlines for the study abroad country you plan on visiting
    • Some countries require you to renew your US Visa before you can obtain their study abroad Visa
    • Renewing your US visa may require returning to your home country either before or after your study abroad program

Things to consider

  • Will you study abroad for more than 6 months?
  • Do you have the minimum unit requirements for your US Student Visa?
  • Will you finish your UConn degree requirements while abroad?
  • Are there military service requirements in the country where you will study?
  • Should you apply for a study abroad Visa in the US or in your home country?

Tips

  • PLAN EARLY! At least 9 months to 1 year prior to your expected study abroad start date!
  • Students paying non-resident tuition fees will find that the Exchange Programs are most affordable, since you will pay the regional rate rather than full out of state rate. Many of the semester/yearlong UConn Faculty led programs are also comparable to the out of state cost at UConn.
  • Always check with the UConn SEVIS officer to determine how the program you are going on will affect any SEVIS requirements. (http://isss.uconn.edu/about/staff-directory/)
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) students who are considering going abroad should consult with an immigration attorney to discuss the process and evaluate the potential risks before applying for a study abroad program.

Resources

If you are not a student at the University of Connecticut, you are welcome to apply to a number of our programs. Visit our Program Search page to view programs open to non-UConn Students.All students enrolling through UConn will receive credits and grades as if the courses had been taken at UConn. While you are studying abroad, you will be registered at the University of Connecticut as a non-degree student. Upon successful completion of the program, grades and credits are posted and an official UConn transcript.  You will need to request through UConn’s Student Administration System for your official UConn transcript to be sent to your home institution.  You should make this request after your program has ended and your grades have been posted.

If you are not enrolled in a degree program at the University of Connecticut, you are ineligible for financial aid through UConn. You should check with your own university’s financial aid office to find out if your financial aid can be used for a UConn program.