Faculty-led travel groups have become increasingly popular in recent years, providing students with unique opportunities to learn and explore new cultures, languages, and perspectives. However, it is important for these groups to be created with a diversity and inclusion mindset to ensure that all students, regardless of background or identity, feel welcome and included.
One way to approach this is by actively recruiting a diverse group of students to participate in the travel program. This can be done by reaching out to student organizations and affinity groups, and ensuring that the program’s materials and information are made available in multiple languages and formats. Additionally, it is important to consider the cost of the program and ensure that financial aid and scholarships are available to those who may need them.
Another important aspect of creating a diverse and inclusive faculty-led travel group is ensuring that the itinerary and activities planned for the trip are inclusive and respectful of all cultures and communities. This means avoiding activities or sights that may be offensive or disrespectful, and instead focusing on activities that promote understanding and cultural exchange.
It is also essential to have clear policies and procedures in place to address any incidents of discrimination or harassment that may occur during the trip. This includes providing training for both faculty and students on how to recognize and address these issues, and having a designated point of contact for students to report incidents to.
Overall, creating a faculty-led travel group from a diversity and inclusion mindset requires thoughtful planning and consideration. By actively recruiting a diverse group of students, planning inclusive and respectful activities, and having clear policies in place to address discrimination and harassment, we can ensure that all students have a positive and meaningful experience on the trip.
As an organization, Loop Abroad prides itself on fostering diversity and inclusion in all of its programming. We not only support diversity in our recruitment of students and staff but we also thoroughly research our potential host organizations around the world and provide our faculty and support staff with extensive training before programs begin. Our reputation is built on being partners with those we work with across the globe and we value what we learn from the cultures in each country we visit, working towards a shared goal of promoting animal health and welfare, conservation and One Health.