June is Immigrant Heritage Month, and at IES Abroad we work to weave the stories of immigrants and their experiences throughout what we do as an organization. Chicago, where our main office is headquartered, is home to a diverse population of immigrants from all over the world. And while there are many benefits to living in a more diverse community—international food, museums, cultural festivals, and, most importantly, points of view—we also see the unique challenges these communities face, from discrimination and xenophobia to violence.
As global educators, it's our duty to incorporate support and resources for immigrant and first-generation students into our work. We create programming and coursework specifically focused on immigration, publish the stories of student bloggers who come from immigrant families, and offer robust scholarship and aid that helps make study abroad an accessible reality for everyone. This month we wanted to highlight and celebrate these efforts, and inspire each of us to think about the incredible ways that immigrants have contributed to our communities and our culture.
Whether it's amplifying the viewpoints and stories of immigrants, or looking at the benefits of immigration on a global scale, we see the power in appreciating and celebrating a diverse array of experiences both at home and abroad. After all, we are educating future global leaders, and we know those leaders will have a vested interest in protecting and promoting all of the cultures of the world.