Why did you decide to study abroad?
The summer of 2017 I studied abroad for the first time. I was curious to learn about Black culture in other countries and how these cultures intersected with my own. As a scholar majoring in both International Studies and African American & African Diaspora Studies, this opportunity was something I could not pass up.
How did you pay for your study abroad experience?
was able to afford to go abroad through fundraising, a scholarship from the Office of the Vice President Of Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural affairs, and personal savings.
What is one thing you wish you would have known about studying abroad before you left?
I would advise students going abroad to keep a journal and write down their experiences, thoughts, desires, and opinions each day. This is beneficial both during the experience and after. I kept a journal and enjoy looking back at my journey and seeing how much I learned.
Did you experience any discrimination abroad because of your race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or a physical disability? If so, what did you learn from the experience?
I am very thankful for all of my experiences in Brazil, but two experiences stand out to me more the others. The first was in the city Paraty. Our cohort walked part of the Camino Real. This path was created by slaves so that there could be a transport of sugar cane, gold, etc. to different Brazilian cities. It was mind-blowing to walk the same path enslaved people were forced to construct and travel upon. Reading about the Camino Real compares nothing to walking it. Another experience that stood out to me while abroad was during our Passinho workshop. Passinho is a Hip-Hop dance with lots of quick footwork. What I loved most about the workshop was reason behind it. We weren't taking a break from our two hour lectures to goof off. We were taking an opportunity to use our bodies to speak. Oft time in history people of African descent could not communicate their stories or opinions because oppressors would not allow it. Dance was and still is a way to share self-expression and continue tradition. As a Black women I connected tremendously with these two concepts.
How has studying abroad benefited you, personally and academically?
My international experience inspired me to learn Portuguese. After my time abroad I took an eight week intensive beginner Portuguese class and will ultimately minor in the language.