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Mentor Advice

Question

Did you choose your study abroad destinations based on any heritage factors? If so, once in the country, do you feel that you were treated differently because you were part of the country’s ethnicity?

3 Replies from Mentors

  • mentor picture Ana Campos
     
    Ana Campos
    Associate Director, Office of Undergraduate Student Housing
    University of Chicago
    I always knew that I wanted to study abroad in a Spanish speaking country. Growing up, my father...
    I always knew that I wanted to study abroad in a Spanish speaking country. Growing up, my father talked about Spain and the Castilian Spanish and his desire that I be exposed to it. While it was not the driving decision for my attending this particular program (I did not want to go to Mexico as I had been many, many times), it certainly was an intriguing factor. My father had told me that some of my ancestors were from Salamanca, Spain, so I certainly was interested in going to Salamanca to be able to say that I had been there.
  • mentor picture Kenya Casey
     
    Kenya Casey
    Study Abroad Advisor
    Emory University
    My birth name is Kenya. As a child, I knew one day I would travel to my namesake country. ...
    My birth name is Kenya. As a child, I knew one day I would travel to my namesake country. While attending a Historically Black University like Clark Atlanta University, I learned a lot about African American and African history. Many of my professors stressed the importance of traveling to Africa to learn more about the history of the continent; I honestly do not remember my professors encouraging students to study in Europe. Originally I wanted to study abroad in Kenya but could not afford the program. My next choice was Ghana because of the Pan–African movement that took place there and the large settlement of African–Americans in the country. The semester I spent at the University of Ghana was life–changing. I quickly learned I was an American first and a white woman second. For the most part, no one believed I was African–American or that I had any African ancestry. At times I felt like I spent half the semester giving a U.S. history lesson on slavery, segregation, and the civil rights movement. It was the first time I realized that people could not tell my racial and ethnic make–up just by looking at me.
  • mentor picture Emily Le
     
    Emily Le
    Doctoral Student, previously International Programs Counselor
    UCLA
    Yes, I did. My study abroad experience was the first time I returned to Vietnam. I am glad my...
    Yes, I did. My study abroad experience was the first time I returned to Vietnam. I am glad my first trip there was through study abroad. Going abroad as a student is completely different than going abroad to visit family. I was able to visit my family but I was also able to explore the country, which my family would have never allowed me to do on my own.
 
 
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