Student Resource Guide - Religion
Religion GO Program Resources Page for Students
This resource guide is intended to support students thinking about how religion & faith traditions will play a role in their GO program. This could play out in a number of ways. It could be that a student from a majority religion in their home community is heading to a location where they will be in the religious minority, and are wondering how they will navigate their time away. This resource is also for religious students who will be traveling to a place where they will be in the religious majority. And finally, this guide can also be helpful for students who do not currently have a strong faith or religious community but who will be traveling to a strongly religious location.
In the USA, though the majority of individuals consider themselves Christian, this term is often used loosely and can imply anything from regular church attender to never been to church. Further, in the USA, religion is rarely talked about in social or educational settings, and is considered a private matter. That is not true of all places, and there are many places around the globe where religion, religious practices, and religious events are much more prominent. We offer this resource guide to support students who are thinking about how religion will play a role in their GO experience.
Questions to consider asking and researching when planning for GO:
- Regardless of your own religious beliefs, how can you best show respect for others’ religious practices during GO? How can you best learn about how others’ religious practices relate to their cultural practices?
- How will someone with your religious beliefs be received in the place you plan to GO?
- Will there be important daily or routine religious practices in the host culture in which you can take part, despite not being a member of that faith community?
- How will you explain the role of religion in your culture, and in your life, to those that ask?
- What kind of access will you have to your faith community while abroad?
- Will this be sufficient for you, and if not, will there be ways you can either stay connected to your faith community while away, or connect with other faith communities in a meaningful way?
- What will access to places of worship (regular and holidays) be like?
- Will you be in the religious majority or minority, and how will this be different from your past experiences?
- How has the history of that place impacted the religions which are practiced there?
- How will your faith practices impact your decision-making around housing during GO?
- What requirements associated with your faith or religion may impact your involvement in GO? Please share these as soon as possible with your program director/program provider.
- Interfaith youth core
- Diversity Abroad - Religion
- Global Religious Futures – Search Countries and their religions
- BBC News – International Religious news coverage
- U.S. State Department. International Religious Freedom around the world
- Student written story about religion in study abroad
- CIA World Fact book – learn about religious breakdown of places in “People & Society” section