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Hear from IES Abroad Correspondents how their racial and ethnic identities intersect with their study abroad and internship experiences.


No Spice but Still Nice

October 8, 2018

Barcelona! I’ve arrived, and so far so good! The taxi ride from the airport to my home was smooth, and when I got to the house my roommate and host mom welcomed me with a hug. I’m rooming with a friend with college, and she speaks fluent Spanish, so it’s been really helpful! Not only do I get to practice with my host mom every night on my Spanish but also with my roommate.

Barcelona Awaits

August 31, 2018

Hello all! It’s the final countdown to Barcelona of t-3 days!!  I am more nervous than ever and sweating profusely as the day gets closer and closer. Nothing is packed yet, and I’m sitting here reflecting on this exhausting summer of just hustle and grind. I worked three jobs to make this trip happen, and I intend to live this semester to the fullest. However, this is the first time I’m traveling alone without my family or friends and I am incredibly scared and excited to embark upon this journey to Europe for the next four months of my life.

Travelling Through Japan PT. 2: Being Black Internationally

July 16, 2018

Hey guys! I just wanted to do a rundown of how I felt it was like to be a black study abroad student in Japan. Some of these I expected, while others were throughly surprising. I'll start with what surprised me the most, which was:

Not Your Conventional Trip Review - Bosnia and Serbia

June 25, 2018

Hello all, if you don’t know me, my name is Catalina. I am a rising third year at the University of Virginia studying Public Policy and American Government. My job as a blogger throughout these next few weeks will be to describe my experience abroad in the various countries that we visit not only as an American student but also as a Hispanic female (of Colombia origin, in case you were wondering). I am currently studying with the IES Abroad European Union program for the summer.

Being a Minority Abroad: IES Abroad EU Edition

May 30, 2018

Want to study abroad ? Thinking about the IES Abroad EU program, but not sure if it’s for you? Maybe you’ve seen brochures from your school or found images online about study abroad programs, but you haven’t seen anyone who looks like you in them. Maybe you are worried about how being an LGBTQ+ student will affect your experience abroad. I think this is a feeling that a lot of minority students face, when considering study abroad.

Post Abroad Reflection 1: Challenging the Liberal Bubble I'm From

by Chen Yu
May 25, 2018

I wouldn’t necessarily consider my home university a liberal campus, but I specifically come from a very liberal and seemingly inclusive bubble of community with a strong activist culture of social justice and inclusion. In this small bubble, I do not have to explain why it is offensive to call me Jackie Chan or ask me if I’m from Japan; people of color shouldn’t be the ones to educate and white folks should seek out resources to educate themselves; it’s easily understood that microaggressions are offensive. The list goes on.

On traveling abroad as a low-income student

April 30, 2018

Before choosing to study abroad in Berlin, I was heavily discouraged from going to Europe because it is significantly more expensive than the Caribbean or Latin America.

Being Chicana in Europe

April 30, 2018

Something that I have been reflecting on has been my identity here while abroad. While I carry a U.S. passport, I identify more as Chicana than I do as American. Chicana can mean many different things; for me, Chicana means to be born and raised in the United States of Mexican descent, but it also means to be constantly negotiating the tensions of borderlands within me - These borderlands comprised of codeswitching between English, Spanish, Spanglish, academic English, academic Spanish, comprised of my love for In’n’Out animal fries and tortillas hecho a mano, and so on.

1, 2, 3, Smile

by Chen Yu
April 2, 2018

Yes you did not misread anything. I think I’m ugly. And it’s been so challenging to face the brutal truth upfront.


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