Talk to people who have previously studied at that university so they can give you tips about the area that you are going to. Also see if there is someone studying abroad at your home university, from the country or university that you are going to.
In terms of college admission essays and scholarship essays being seen as white privileged is a negative. Having parents who work for a living doesnt get you anything because they don’t believe that you have “need” for the money. Tell that to my growing college debt.