The African American Experience Abroad
Most of the literature surrounding study abroad focus on white middle to upper-class women experiences abroad, excluding narratives from various racial and other minority groups. Research that does address diversity and study abroad, more so, focuses on ways to increase students of color participation in rather than highlighting their narratives and experiences. The thesis focuses on the narratives of African Americans abroad, to better understand the ways in which their experiences abroad are different because of their racial identity and global perceptions of blackness. The study finds in African American experience many of the same issues and wants as white Americans, such as trying to blend in, being a token American, language barriers and just that overall feeling of being outside your comfort zone. While they shared some experiences, others are unique to their racial identities abroad, such as being a perpetual foreigner because of skin color, dealing with micro-aggression with host families, in the classroom and amongst peers, being a minority within your study abroad group and more. Overall, the author found that African Americans face different challenges abroad because of their racial identities and stresses the importance for it to be recognized. Increasing diversity and making study abroad accessible is very important, but it is also important to acknowledge that racial and other identities play a role in people's experiences aboard and to provide resources for those unique experiences.
iv, 63 p.
Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College.
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