UCL Students Abroad

How to Decide Guide 2014

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If you're having trouble making a decision about whether study abroad is right for you, you might want to download our handy 'How to Decide' Guide 2014

The guide is designed for all undergraduate students who intend to spend, or are considering spending, some time abroad as part of their degree programme. The information is intended as a brief guide to get you thinking about your time away, and to direct you to further resources on this site.

Equality and Diversity

Equality and diversity

London is a vibrant, liberal, multi-cultural city. As a community, UCL works to safeguard the rights of all students and staff through a comprehensive Equality and Diversity policy (available from the UCL website). UCL will not tolerate any kind of discrimination against our students from partner institutions or employers. Any incidents of this kind experienced overseas should be reported to the Study Abroad Team immediately. 

Attitudes to Difference

However, attitudes to people with disabilities, or from ethnic or sexually diverse groups can be extremely different in other parts of the world and students self-identifying into these categories should take this into account when making decisions about studying abroad. Equally, female students who are due to study abroad in certain countries can also encounter difficult attitudes when living overseas.

It is important to research carefully and seek advice if this is a concern for you, as coming up against discrimination, prejudice or homophobia can cause emotional distress and have a negative impact on your time abroad. To help you research your prospective host country, please refer to our guidelines below and explore the links at the bottom of this page.

You can also contact the UCLU LGBT+ officer or Welfare and International Officer for advice, or refer to the UCL Support Pages for further support and advice.

General Guidelines

Be self-aware - understanding yourself and your identity is a big part of understanding any adversity you may face.

Take all advice, both positive and negative - there are a wealth of different experiences to be had in the same places so make sure you look for a balance. 

Keep your own cultural assumptions in mind before jumping to conclusions - it is possible that actions or questions that upset you may simply reflect people’s curiosity about you.

Remember that you have choices in how to deal with these issues - a bad reaction from you may worsen the situation, so it is vital to keep these things in mind. 

Be honest with yourself - if you were subject to prejudice or discrimination in your host country, would you be able to cope with it? Can you think of strategies for dealing with different kinds of attitudes? Where are your limitations? 

You may also wish to refer to our Guidelines for Students with a Disability, compiled by the Student Disability Services Team, for more detailed information about preparing yourself for a year abroad.

Useful Links

Students with Disabilities
LGBT+ Students
Minority Ethnic Students
Female Students

Page last modified on 01 nov 13 11:42