HBCUs Abroad: Tapping a Network of Global Opportunities

Last Updated on November 25, 2014

Volunteering Abroad: A Hike up the Mountain of Bongbongan in Leyte, Philippines.
The Mountain of Bongbongan in Leyte, Philippines.

The Peace Corps was the last thing on my mind while I was in undergrad; I would smile politely at the Peace Corps recruiter during career fairs, but I was not ready for the long term commitment. A few years later I was working in the DC Metro area, and a large percentage of my colleagues were Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. I was fascinated by their various stories and the notion that they serve again if they could. I told them about my reservations regarding the 27-month commitment, and they reassured me it would be worth it in the long run. After intense research and reflection I submitted my application in July 2013. I am now a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in the Philippines.

Introducing HBCUs Abroad Video

As a study abroad alumni, I was looking for ways to get involved and promote the study abroad experience. When I came across the Institute of International Education (IIE), they produced startling statistics:

  • Less than 10% of U.S. college students are studying abroad
  • 5.3% of the study abroad population are Black
  • 13 Historically Black Colleges and Universities are active partners of IIE’s Generation Study Abroad Initiative

With numbers so low, sitting and doing nothing was not an option. There is an untapped network of students who have taken advantage international opportunities to become competitive in the job market where employers are increasingly looking for workers who have international skills and expertise. I want to mobilize this network and start a movement of HBCU students going abroad. There are organizations working to make academic exchange programs less of a financial burden; however someone working at the grassroots level must motivate the students to seek out these opportunities. This need is how “HBCUs Abroad” began.

HBCUs Abroad will promote students and alumni who have studied, interned, or volunteer abroad. The initiative will expand the network of global citizens within the HBCU community and motivate students to seek out opportunities for international experience.

November 17, 2014 will launch “HBCUs Abroad Photo Challenge” I am encouraging every-one to participate, share pictures, and spread the word of HBCUs Abroad.

11/17 – Join the movement:

      Make a sign that says #HBCUsAbroad or #schoolnameAbroad. The photo challenge is open to anyone from your school that has traveled abroad. Not just study abroad.

11/18 – Tasty Tuesday: Show us food and delicacies from your host country

11/19 – Work it Wednesday: Share pictures from the school you attended abroad, or the work place. HBCUs Abroad Feature: Amanda Carrington

11/20 – Throwback Thursday: Any throwback Thursday pic you want to share

11/21 – Spirit Day Friday: Share a picture with some HBCUS paraphernalia.

Use the hashtag #HBCUsAbroad so I can easily find the pictures. I will be monitoring what schools participate. Maybe YOUR HBCU will come out on top!

If you are someone interested in being featured for HBCU’s Abroad, please contact Javonni: natravelista@gmail.com. For more information visit: http://www.thenaturaltravelista.com/

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