The Black student experience is diverse. Individuals within this identity group will have different experiences abroad depending on their intersecting identities, home and host country, and other factors.
Before leaving, reflect on what your Black identity means to you and how it shapes you as an individual.
Know that you do not have to represent your entire identity group, and that conversations about your race and ethnicity can open up meaningful dialogue about the complexities and nuances of Black identity.
While the Black experience abroad can vary greatly, there are a few things that students in the Black community often face.These include:
- Mistaken identity
- Assumptions that all Black people share the same identity
- Stereotypes (both positive and negative) based on appearance/culture
- Microaggressions or unwanted public attention
- Access to haircare products
Being aware that these can occur can help you better prepare for your time abroad. While many may seem negative, it often opens up opportunities for conversation, learning, and growth.