A Feeling of Home, Abroad: The Diverse Identities Club

Going abroad can be a new opportunity for self-exploration. Olive, Macalester College, found an encouraging community at the DIS Stockholm Diverse Identities Social Club. The club is an open and safe space where students can explore their personal experiences with diversity, identity, and intercultural interactions while studying abroad.

For Olive, conversations at the Diverse Identities Social Club at DIS Stockholm are a source of both comfort and self-growth.

“The club allows you to share, listen, and implement different strategies in your life in order to enhance your study abroad experience. It is a place where all thoughts are welcomed and real conversations are always had.”

Olive was born in Cameroon and moved to the U.S. when she was six years old. “That transition left me at the crossroad of two perceivably different identities. In Cameroon and with my family, I was just a girl curious about the world around me. While in the United States, I became a black girl that had to constantly prove to others that I belonged,” Olive added. “It took me a long time to realize that both cultures play an important role in the formation of my identity.”

Studying abroad in Stockholm has been a new transition for Olive. During this time, she has found the Diverse Identities Club to be a guiding and grounding experience – particularly in relation to similar clubs back home. When abroad, it’s always calming to have a familiar space.

“In the Diverse Identities Club, we have the space to talk about our experiences here in Sweden and how they are similar to or different from our experiences in the United States,” Olive said. For instance, a topic of discussion in the club has been how language use can change from country to country, and how diversity and identity are articulated in different settings.

“For some of the clubs that I am a part of at my school, we talk about what is like in the classroom and on campus in general. While in this club, we talk about classrooms as well as the bigger Picture”

The club currently takes place every other Tuesday at DIS. While at the club, students have some fika, and talk about anything and everything on their mind.

Fika has become one of my favorite things to do in Sweden and I love that it’s a part of this club,” Olive shared. “I always start off thinking that I will only be at the meeting for 20 minutes but it gets difficult to leave because of how insightful, heartfelt, and open the conversations become.”

Some final thoughts and advice from Olive for future students studying abroad :

“I believe this club could be a great asset for DIS students that are having a hard time figuring out where they fit in. As a student of color abroad, I expected stares but I also expected to find a place that didn’t care about the color of my skin and that’s what Diverse Identities Club is for me.”

Find a place that makes you feel at home. You will be surrounded by a lot of new and different things that can make you feel lost at times. Find something or somewhere that makes you feel like yourself.”

Learn more about DIS Diversity Resources

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