The program is co-sponsored by the Council on International Educational Exchange and Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs, to mark the 175th anniversary of the meeting between Douglass and Irish reformer Daniel O’Connell in Dublin in 1845. It is focused on leadership, change, social justice, and cross-cultural understanding.
The global fellows program was started by CIEE to expand access to international education to underrepresented students. The share of such students studying abroad has increased over the past decade, from 20 percent of all students going overseas a decade ago to 31 percent in 2018-19, according to the Institute of International Education.
Still, education abroad remains far less diverse than U.S. higher education as a whole, and students of color can face hurdles in going overseas.
Lovings said he had wanted to study abroad, but he had limited options at Hampton, a HBCU. Both Joshi and Bobb-Semple said they hoped to study abroad again, next spring.
Bobb-Semple said being abroad felt “kind of like this dream” after Covid’s disruption but that she was relishing the chance to immerse herself in another country and culture. “The pandemic made study abroad seem even more vital,” she said.
The experience reminded Joshi “that there’s a world outside of my own,” she said. “There are other voices that need to be heard and other experiences that need to be depicted authentically and honestly.”
When I asked the group for advice for other students thinking about going abroad, Lovings urged them to “challenge themselves.” Go down a side street, visit a cafe, strike up a conversation with a local, he said. “There will always be that necessity to explore, to see things differently, to push yourself.”
Readers, I want to hear about how you’re handling study abroad this fall. Has the emergence of the delta variant caused you to rethink programs that were set to run this semester? What precautions are you taking if you are sending students abroad? Have travel restrictions and vaccine availability changed where your students are able to study? How is the pandemic affecting insurance and other costs? Do you have plans to pull your students from a country if case counts begin to rise?