Capstone International Center encourages diversity

Kourtney Jakubowski

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On Tuesday, April 19, the Capstone International Center held a forum to encourage a more diverse study abroad program at the University.

There were four study abroad participants on the panel who gave their experience of an African-American abroad. They described their time traveling, specifically as a minority.

Joshua Harvey, office aide of Education Abroad, traveled to 11 different locations through the UA study abroad program including Rome, Florence, Naples, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.

“A lot of times when I was at clubs [in Rome] they would call us Afrikano and they would touch the girls’ hair,” Harvey said. “They wouldn’t let us in certain clubs and things like that because of our skin color.”

Harvey had an experience in Medina when people yelled to him, “Obama, Obama!” The citizens of Medina had not seen many African-Americans before this encounter.

Carolina Robinson, director of Education Abroad, had a similar experience. The public ran after her and two others while in China, yelling, “It’s Destiny’s Child!”

Robinson spoke of a scholarship program called Fulbright, which gives students the financial opportunity to study abroad. They are looking for more minorities in the future.

“If students here have a presidential scholarship, studying abroad can end up being cheaper,” said Robinson.

The panelists spoke of how they benefited from their abroad experience, particularly about the relationships they built.

“A lot of the people that I met abroad, the squad, we still talk,” said Brittany Groves, Fulbright scholarship winner. “I know that when I go back abroad, I have a place to crash.” 

For more information, visit 135 B.B. Comer Hall for study abroad information sessions Monday-Thursday.