In Education Abroad, we recognize and celebrate that WVU students represent multifaceted and complex identities. We value this diversity of perspective, and desire for each student to consider how their own identity can add depth and dimension to their international experiences.
While abroad, you may find that some aspects of your identity may be perceived in ways you never expected. Maybe you’ll join a demographic that’s new to you; maybe one or many parts of your identity will take on a new significance. Your nationality could very well become a key identifier to members of your host community, and you may find yourself talking about issues that you’d never paid much attention to up till now—and you more than likely won’t be equipped to answer on behalf of the whole country!
When you travel, you become an ambassador. You represent yourself, your family, home country, university, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, ability… and the list goes on. Just as your experience abroad offers you a slice of what that culture has to offer, your presence offers your hosts a face to associate with each facet of your identity. Whether you’ve spent years or just minutes reflecting on your identity, international travel forces you to interact with your own identity in new ways.