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

Feb 25 2:36pm

Top 10 Study Abroad Instagram Photos from January & February 2019

by IES Abroad

Are you ready to fall head over heels for study abroad?

Read more
Feb 22 3:48pm

61 IES Abroad Students Received Gilman Scholarship in 2018-19

by IES Abroad

We are proud to congratulate 61 IES Abroad students who have received the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for the 2018-19 Academic Year.

Read more
Feb 20 11:12am

Reinventing Yourself Through Fashion While Studying Abroad

by IES Abroad

Studying abroad provides a great opportunity to reinvent yourself. Our Ambassadors tell us how they explored their senses of fashion while abroad.

Read more
Feb 20 10:03am

Five Years After Study Abroad: IES Abroad Alum Mallory Rotondo, Speech-Language Pathologist

by IES Abroad

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.

Read more
Feb 20 9:36am

You Can Go Home Again - Alum Reunites with Host Mom Decades After Study Abroad

by IES Abroad

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.

Read more
Feb 19 2:12pm

Our Colleagues, Students, and Alumni Make Black History Abroad

by IES Abroad

At IES Abroad, we believe that every black student going abroad, past or present, is making black history abroad.

Read more