From Black Voices — Educators want more minority students to pursue opportunities to study overseas and enroll in traditional study abroad programs. Foreign study is seen as crucial to student development and even as a key to national security, yet minority participation badly lags behind their overall presence on college campuses.

“It’s really a matter of persuading young students of color that this is possible for them and this is necessary for them,” said Peggy Blumenthal, executive vice president of the Institute of International Education. “You come back changed, more self-confident.” About 81 percent of study-abroad students are white, although whites represent 63 percent of enrollment in higher education, according to 2008-09 data released in November by the New York-based institute.

Blacks comprise 4.2 percent of study-abroad students but are 13.5 percent of the college population.Latinos are 6 percent of study-abroad participants but nearly 12 percent of higher ed students. Asian-Americans, representing 6.8 percent of college students, are slightly overrepresented in study abroad at 7.3 percent.

Barriers often include lack of funds, fear of racism, worries about delayed graduation, and few role models – either family or faculty – who have traveled abroad.

(Continue Reading @ Black Voices…)

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  • Sia

    I cringe when I see that people are deciding not to study/travel abroad because of fear of racism. The only way we can change people’s minds is by going. The more African Americans that go and show that we love culture, meeting new people, eating various cuisines, etc, people will change their negative perceptions of us. People will only treat you as poorly as you allow them to treat you.

  • Used to do

    I have desired to study abroad for quite some time, however I have not had the financial means to do so. Though scholarships are available, they only cover a specific amount and some of the programs I am interested are at minimum $4,000 and to be honest I do not have access to such a large amount of money. Some people have commented on the original article – that African Americans choose not to study abroad because we are too ignorant and want to be “stuck in our ways” so to speak and not appreciate diversity or culture, but I would like to disagree. There is a deeper reasoning for African American students as well as other students not being able to study – some of us are just fortunate and gracious enough to have the opportunity to engage in secondary education and study abroad just might be one of those things to be pursued later on in life.

  • jade

    i almost went to new zealand for study abroad but i chickened out especially at the prices and my classes wouldn’t transfer but i kind of regret it now.. i really want to go to london or wales… its one of my biggest regret ..besides college in general lol