Pre-Departure Identity Discussion
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Diversity Abroad Online Pre-Departure Learning Module 

Diversity Abroad offers a unique online pre-departure learning module that is designed to prepare students for one of the most important, challenging, and rewarding aspects of the education abroad experience, self-discovery.

Many resources exist to help students prepare for the outward journey. This interactive program focuses on the inward journey and walks students through an exploration of how they see themselves and helps them to identify the strengths that come from all aspects of their identity.

Participants have an opportunity to examine how their identity may impact their education abroad experience both from a cultural and safety perspective. The module walks students through how the following areas of identity may impact the education abroad experience.

  • Race/ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Sexuality
  • Socio-economic class
  • Ability
  • Religion

The resources and topics included in this pre-departure learning online module allow students to delve deeper into aspects of their identity and prepare a plan for the challenges and opportunities that they will face in their chosen host environment. Each section includes discussion areas examining personal identity, identity abroad (e.g., exploring how one's identity might be perceived abroad), and planning ahead (resources for further study and people to speak with about these topics).

The online learning module provides an engaging and interactive space that offers guided readings, videos, student testimonials, questions to consider, and next steps. Education abroad offices are encouraged to provide this resource to all students who are planning to go abroad. The module can be administered in a number of ways including the following two options.


Completion of Full-Course

The full online module can be completed in 60-75 minutes. Offices may provide tailored instructions to students to complete the full-course. Also, institutions that provide pre-departure seminar courses for students a semester or quarter before they go abroad may consider integrating the module into the existing structure of the course. 


Completion of Individual Sections 

While completing the entire module is the ideal approach to administering the content, the module may also be completed in individual sections. Institutions may choose to invite students to complete sections that may be of particular relevance to students' interests. Each section can take between 10-20 minutes to complete.

Access to the online learning module is currently available to Diversity Network member institutions. The module is hosted on a separate learning management system, and each member institution is allocated one administrative user account to invite individual student users to engage with the course. Institutions interested in making this module accessible to their students are asked to send an email to with the email address that they would like to have associated with their institutional administrative user account (a generic email is recommended). 

For institutions who have already set up an account, please click on the link below in at anytime using your institution's user account.


Please note that this tool is available only to institutions of higher education in the Diversity Abroad Network consortium and Global Partners. 

A preview of the learning module can be accessed by viewing the recorded webinar that walks through the basic overview, structure, and layout of the module. You can view the webinar by clicking here



The Diversity Abroad Pre-Departure Module was developed by a team of committed education abroad professionals with expertise in advising and supporting students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. The module was made possible by each committee member's contribution and the leadership committee chair.

Committee Chair

David Wick, Ed.D., Director of Study Abroad - Santa Clara University

Committee Members

Deidre Ellis, Manager, Student Services - Diversity Abroad (former Study Abroad Advisor at the University of Maryland College Park)

Lily Lopez-McGee, Manager, Diversity Network - Diversity Abroad

William Smith, II, Education Abroad Advisor, Office of International Education - University of Georgia

Taylor Woodman, Special Projects Manager, Office for Study Abroad - The George Washington University

Annagene Yucas, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs - CAPA International Education


Pre-Departure Video: Identity and Study Abroad

In addition to the online learning module, Diversity Abroad has also developed a student-centered Pre-Departure Video that explores topics of identity as they relate to the education abroad experience.