At IES Abroad, we believe that every black student going abroad, past or present, is making black history abroad. Black History Month is as good a time as ever to celebrate that truth, so we polled some of our IES Abroad staff to see how they made black history while studying, living, and traveling abroad. Here's what they had to say:
We're proud that our colleagues can speak to the ways they made black history abroad—just like our students and alumni.
Last year, we were excited to mark the first 10 years of our Initiative to Diversify Education Abroad (IDEA): an innovative, sustained access and diversity effort that has inspired 10,000+ multifaceted students—including those who identify as black—to study abroad and intern around the world.
"As this generation of black college students carves out its own unique path and legacy, our IES Abroad diversity initiative connects them to the world—preparing them for how the intersections of their identities may influence their experiences in other cultures and empowering them to be uniquely themselves in our world," said Gretchen Cook-Anderson, our Director of Diversity Recruiting & Advising.
Read more below about how our colleagues, students, and alumni have made and continue to make black history abroad.
"I became increasingly aware of the lack of awareness, on a global scale, of black Americans or others of African descent beyond pop culture stereotypes. I took greater pride in my heritage and my desire to expand others' perceptions. My sense of American-ness also grew during that period."
After studying abroad in Christchurch, New Zealand, Mallory Rotondo (IES Abroad Christchurch, Spring 2014 | Purdue University) went on to become an early intervention speech-language pathologist. Read on to hear how this IES Abroad Scholarship recipient’s study abroad experience gave her the skills necessary to be a more understanding clinician.
Jeff Rosenthal (IES Abroad Madrid, Spring 1982), had an unforgettable experience studying abroad in Madrid, thanks in part to his warmhearted homestay mom, Señora Carmen. Jeff shares, in his own words, how he returned to Madrid to find his homestay residence was still the home he cherished and remembered.