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Supporting Black students looking to study abroad

The Global Learning Office at Northwestern’s Buffett Institute for Global Affairs is hosting a series of events this month aimed at supporting Black students thinking about traveling abroad for a learning experience. 

The “Black History Month Global Week” will offer tips and strategies to help Black students navigate the unique obstacles they may face.

“The aim of this initiative is to offer Black students an opportunity to hear voices and experiences similar to theirs and encourage them to engage with study abroad programs,” said Norvell Watts, program manager at the Global Learning Office.

Keynote: Ayanna Legros

Ayanna Legros will deliver the keynote address at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Northwestern and is now a doctoral candidate in history at Duke University. Having travelled throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe, Legros will encourage participants to be more conscious travelers through reflection exercises, dialogue and questions. The keynote will be moderated by Mary Pattillo, the Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and chair of the African American Studies department at Northwestern.

Study Abroad 101

Study Abroad 101 will offer a brief overview of study abroad programs at Northwestern. Staff from the Global Learning Office will then discuss Blackness abroad, providing tips on everything from wellness to how Blackness may be perceived in different countries. The event takes place at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, at The Black House.

Panel: Traveling while Black

The panel at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, will discuss a variety of topics, including travel accessibility, cultural norms abroad, the increase of Black travelers, obstacles and racism. Audience members will also be invited to ask questions at the end of the panel. The panel will include: Kenya Alexander, a senior in mechanical engineering who travelled to Germany twice; Ron Alexander, a passionate traveler who is also on the residential life team at Student Affairs; Derek Nettingham, assistant director at Multicultural Student Affairs; and Norvell Watts, program manager at the Global Learning Office. 

Passport initiative

Ten students will be selected to be recipients of an award that covers the expenses of issuing a passport. The recipients will be walked through the entire passport application process culminating in a visit to the Evanston Post Office to send their application. Students don’t need to be in a study abroad program to be considered. Applications are due Monday, Feb. 21.

Global Learning Office

The Global Learning Office (GLO), housed within the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs, serves as a comprehensive resource for international academic experiences for students at Northwestern. GLO offers a diverse range of programs abroad that challenge students to engage with difference, develop intellectually and emotionally, broaden their global perspectives, and expand their intercultural skills and understanding.