Our Colleagues, Students, and Alumni Make Black History Abroad

You are here

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.

Alumni Who Are Making a World of Difference

"It's inspired me to take my time, soak in more experiences, and travel more while I can and then go into the workforce."

"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."

"The experience ultimately became the beginning of a pattern for me, where travel is my antidote to the complacency of everyday life."

Correspondents Who Reflect on the Black Experience Abroad

"From the get go, I could tell that Chile presents itself as more of a diverse society in general."

"I didn't feel that my race or background was a handicap at all in Japan. Most Japanese people will see you as simply a foreigner, and nothing more."

"Systematic oppression produces similar results under different forms in different countries due to different contexts. Nonetheless, this is a problem that must be addressed."

Alumni Whose Careers Have Been Shaped By Study Abroad

Special Advisor for Guinea Worm Eradication, The Carter Center
IES Abroad Vienna, 1960-61

State Health Officer (Ret.), Washington State Department of Health
IES Abroad Vienna, 1967-68

U.S. Ambassador (Ret.) Botswana and Nigeria
IES Abroad Nantes, 1967-68

We’re proud that our students are as diverse as the countries where they study abroad. Learn more about our Initiative to Diversify Education Abroad and explore our diversity resources.

Recent news & press

May 9 9:13pm

"The Company Helping to Give Generations a Global Perspective": IES Abroad President & CEO Interviewed on WGN Radio Chicago

by IES Abroad

IES Abroad President & CEO Mary M. Dwyer, Ph.D., discussed all-things study abroad on WGN Radio's “The Opening Bell with Steve Grzanich”.

Read more
May 8 11:11am

10 Study Abroad Instagram Photos from March & April 2019

by IES Abroad

These Instagram photos will make you want to spring forward into study abroad!

Read more
Apr 29 12:06pm

Cherishing Moms Across the Continents

by IES Abroad

Behind many great study abroad adventures are maternal figures making it possible—Moms, host moms, grandmoms, the friend you call mom...you name it.

Read more
Apr 29 10:33am

Global Citizen of the Year Breana Ross Gives TEDx Talk

by IES Abroad

To further promote the value of service, 2018 Global Citizen of the Year Breana Ross gave a TEDx talk at University of Miami on Wednesday, April 24th

Read more
Apr 26 11:38am

What It Takes to Be an Effective Leader: A Chat with IES Abroad’s CEO Named Notable Woman Executive by Crain’s Chicago Business

by IES Abroad

What does it actually take to be a leader? We sat down with Mary M. Dwyer, Ph.D., CEO and President of IES Abroad, to discuss how the path to being a successful leader is anything but linear.

Read more