Traveling and living in an unfamiliar culture can be incredibly exciting, but it can also present significant challenges. Some of the differences you identify in the host culture will be obvious: language, climate, clothing, food, daily routine etc. Other differences, however, will not be as obvious, and you may not notice them at first. These differences can cause feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and frustration, as you feel cut off from the cultural cues and patterns with which you are familiar.
We all identify on campus as Huskers. Will the host country and culture abroad equally recognize this significant aspect of our campus identity? Most likely, no. In addition, how will the other aspects of our identity be perceived while abroad? How will our identity be supported in the host culture? Students who are members of visible and non-visible minority groups may face particular challenges while studying abroad. Students who may be living as a member of the majority group here in the United States may become a member of the minority group for the first time while living in their host culture. Review the resources presented on these pages in preparation for your experience abroad.
If you really want to dive in to this subject, check out the following resources:
- Stories, Skills, and Resources: University of Michigan Resilient Traveling - Managing Stress & Enhancing Your Experience Abroad
- Book: Preparing to Study Abroad: Learning to Cross Cultures by S. Duke (2014)
- Book: Published by Institute of International Education: A Student Guide to Study Abroad by S. Nevadomski, A. Goodman & C. Taylor (2013)
- Online "course": What's Up With Culture?
- PDF: Culture Matters: The Peace Corps Cross-Cultural Workbook
- Diversity Abroad
- UNL Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
- Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services (OASIS)
- LGBTQA+ Resource Center
- Women's Center
- Services for Students with Disabilities Office
- Mobility International
- Abroad with Disabilities
- UNL Student Involvement (faith-based communities on campus)
Integrating into the Host Culture