Future-Focused Friday: Things That Inspired Us to Keep Momentum this Week

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IES Abroad

Hey There,

It’s Friday and the weekend ahead holds such promise! What are your plans to make a difference these next few days? You can do anything or just a little something, because a little something can go a long way in making big things happen.

What are we up to? Well hey, thanks for asking!

Our staff received a personal day in honor of Juneteenth to truly consider the social injustice and police brutality against Black Americans. We’ll be using this day for reflection, service, donating, or volunteering, and taking 8 minutes and 47 seconds of silence to be mindful of the fact that Black. Lives. Matter. We invite you to do the same.

For this edition of our Future-Focused Friday newsletter, we’re featuring some of the students, staff, and alumni who have carried on the belief of our founders—three optimistic post-war students in the 1950s who dared and dreamed to use study abroad as a catalyst for peace. We hope you’ll feel as inspired as we have by the work they’ve done and continue to do!

Movers & Changemakers

Students past and present, as well as IES Abroad staff, share how their experiences have encouraged them to effect change.

Yazmin Baptiste headshot

Dayna Mathew
(London Internship | 2017)

"I became more knowledgeable about my own prejudice and also became a champion for social justice. I vowed to fully immerse myself in this opportunity and change others’ mindsets about “criminals”. I began the MORE campaign."

Alice Woods
(Cape Town Customized | 2016)

"I continue to ask the questions of myself that were raised by my year in South Africa: How do we approach these huge, global problems, like HIV or gender-based violence, in a new way? What have we not tried? What would I do if I weren’t afraid to feel exposed?"

Yazmin Baptiste
(Rabat, Rome | 2018-19)

"Having a strong sense of accountability for what you do in the world is important...have patience with others and yourself to think through the ways that we can improve our future."


Sam Hochberger
(Granada | 2019)

"I think the people who have privilege and privileged statuses in the world should be on the front lines to help and whatever small part I can do in that process I want to be a part of."

Jimmie Briggs
(Vienna | 1989)
Changemaker, Storyteller & Humanitarian

"...traveling to places like Berlin—when the Wall came down there—or, Prague, during the Velvet Revolution. I had a front row seat as history was unfolding and wanted to have more chances of being present in such moments, not solely to bear witness, but also tell the stories of what I saw and heard."

Hernando Sevilla-Garcia
IES Abroad Senior Diversity Relations Manager

"Whether it’s through alumni-led workshops, a phone call to your senator/representative, private/public partnerships, or a presentation to a college dean, our study abroad community has the unique occasion to join voices and advocate for this life-changing opportunity."


“The work we do cultivates diverse global citizens...and we must ensure they’re armed with the empathy, compassion, anti-racism mindsets, intercultural responsiveness, and capacity for innovation the world needs.”
Gretchen Cook-Anderson • IES Abroad Assistant Vice President • Diversity Recruiting & Advising

Start picturing your life abroad through the #IESabroad feed.



Though right now could feel like a ‘moment in time’, what it really is is a movement. Let's keep the momentum by continuing to act, push, and move...however you prefer and however you say the word "action"*. Whether it’s sharing a post you personally found useful or walking peacefully in solidarity to promote systemic change, however you can help is helping. 

Studying abroad is another way to take steps towards change. While it may seem like a personal journey, you're not only transforming yourself, but the world around you (abroad and at home).

Start Your Adventure

P.S. Head to our Instagram stories and share your favorite way to take action!

P.P.S. Need a little more inspiration? Check out and vote for* the GoAbroad Student Video Award-nominated film, “Every Second” by Alexandra Hanson (IES Abroad Sydney | Southern Methodist University), which was an honorable mention in our 2019 Study Abroad Film Festival.

Keep the momentum going by studying abroad this fall!

Our Fall 2020 Flexible study abroad programs in Barcelona, London, Milan, Paris, and Vienna have an application deadline just a few weeks away. Apply by July 15th!

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