Minority students

Attitudes towards people from different racial backgrounds around the world can be very different from those in the UK. This is where preparing well and researching your destination before you go overseas can make a huge difference.

Resources and useful information

  • Past student experiences of being a racial minority abroad
  • Country-specific diversity resources – general resources as well as advice on topics such as dietary concerns, race, ethnicity and national identity, and religion and spirituality
  • Use social media as a tool for research. For example, there are a lot of tweets on Twitter to the effect of ‘#blackin_’, or ‘#asianin_’. This is a way to see real, unfiltered experiences of people from your ethnic group who have travelled to the same destinations.
  • Consult a diversity index for your host destination. Whilst not entirely accurate, it is likely that the more diverse a country is, the more accepting and welcoming it will be to ethnic minority travellers.
  • The Black Elevation Map – a unique tool that takes cultural data, including black population data, historical markers, black-owned businesses and social media activity, and visualises it as points of interest on a dynamic, searchable elevation map of the United States.
  • Black and Abroad – stories, tips and journeys from a community of travelers.
  • Blogs including Not British or African Enough: the Struggle of Being a Black British Traveler and 7 Lessons I’ve learnt as a Hijabi Traveller.
  • A Guardian article which details some experiences of ethnic minorities abroad, and what they wish they had known or researched more prior to travelling.
  • Studying Abroad for Black Women (Diary of a Traveling Black Woman: A Guide to International Travel) by Adriana Smith

Before you travel

Before you travel, we recommend that you research your destination’s ethnic history and current views towards ethnic minorities to give you a better understanding of the host country. You may also want to read or watch accounts of other students or individuals who have travelled to these countries: there may be both positive and negative experiences. Lastly, make sure you attend the DMU Global pre-departure session(s), as this will give you the opportunity to build a support network with other students that you are going abroad with. In addition to this, you may also want to consider the following:

  • Be aware of the possibility that your features may attract unwanted attention from locals.
  • Am I normally the majority at home but will be a minority abroad? Or vice versa?
  • People may generalize or incorrectly identify your ethnicity.
  • Are they just being curious or do they have bad intentions?
  • Don’t travel with the expectation that you will face racism or discrimination but know beforehand what steps to take if an incident were to arise.
  • It is usually unconscious bias, casual racism, microaggressions, and stereotyping that come into play.