I have proudly pledged to join the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Generation Study Abroad initiative to assist in doubling the number of American students who study abroad by the end of the decade. IIE is launching Generation Study Abroad because the number of today’s students who graduate with international educational experience is too low. Currently, less than 10 percent of all U.S. college students study abroad in their academic career. I decided to join the IIE initiative for its focus on increasing the diversity of the students who study abroad, and continued commitment to assisting students pay for study abroad.
African-American students comprise only 5 percent of the study abroad population. As a study abroad alumni, I plan to further increase the number of study abroad students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I will support IIE’s Generation study abroad initiative by recognizing students from the HBCU community who have traveled abroad to take courses, complete internships, and carry out service learning and volunteer opportunities.
There is an untapped network of students who have taken advantage international opportunities to become competitive in a job market where employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise. I will mobilize this network and start a movement of HBCUs abroad.