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Is there racism towards Indian students abroad?

  • What are the cultural norms of my host country?
  • How will I be perceived in my host community?
  • Will there be other minority students in my program?
  • Will I experience discrimination in the country I study in? Who can I contact if I do?

We recognize that students of different ethnic and racial backgrounds may have a challenging transition from your life back home to that in the foreign country. People may categorize and interpret your race, ethnicity and other identity attributes quite differently than what you are used to at home. There is the possibility that you may encounter some stares, comments, and overt discrimination during your travels.

But do not feel pressured to mask your identity. You may find that confronting and coping with your adjustment abroad can be a positive growth experience, even if challenging at times. Also be sure to constantly stay in touch with your family, friends, and Study Abroad advisor. Use them as support systems!

You can prepare yourself for the situations you may encounter by researching the minority, majority, and plurality racial and ethnic composition of your host country and exploring its history of racial and ethnic relations.

Tips to keep in mind

  • Reach out to minority students who have recently studied abroad and ask them about their experiences
  • Look at international news sources to get a sense of current political and societal issues in your host country
  • If you experience difficulties, don’t be afraid to contact the nearest embassy. They are available 24/7 at every embassy to provide emergency assistance. They won’t pass judgment on you and will protect your privacy.
  • Be prepared if an incident does arise, but don’t go abroad expecting racism or discrimination.

For many Indian students, University is the first time they’ve moved away from their parents. That means nobody is going to tell you to wake up on time for class or do your reading. In other words, as a university student, you essentially have free rein over how you want to spend your day, every day. It can be challenging to manage things on your own but also exciting as you begin to figure out who you are or who you want to be. 3RDiConsulting ensures we brief them about every criterion before they embark upon this journey. We also offer to stay in touch once they have landed and try to assist them by putting them in touch with our alums in those cities. It is also recommended that they stay in touch with the counselors on campus.

Racial discrimination is not always intended, which makes it worse, because the person discriminating against you probably doesn’t even know that they are treating you differently than they would treat others. Unintended discrimination is called micro aggression. As study abroad experts we ensure that we educate our students on these matters before hand.