Friday, April 14, 2023
Daijonna Glee
Daijonna Glee

Being able to go to London was the first time I’ve ever traveled independently. Identifying as a first-generation student, black, and a woman, I was extremely nervous to experience this opportunity. While being abroad, my expectations changed by understanding who I am and what I represent.  

In the United States, there’s turmoil with thinking about political stances and where exactly you fall on the line with your beliefs. However, when going abroad it was refreshing to just exist without worrying about that for the time being. In addition, I also learned that nothing can really prepare you for studying abroad until you do it.  

Something that surprised me the most about going abroad to London is just how diverse it is. Being born and living in the United States, I’ve always known that the United States was classified as a “melting pot.”. However, being in London I heard more languages than I could count on my fingers! I think this surprised me because I didn’t feel like I stuck out in a crowd and everyone was staring at me. 

While not feeling like a black sheep in London, I also noticed many people didn’t go out of their way to speak to me or listen in on my conversation, yet they were friendly when I asked them directions or for food recommendations!  

Going abroad helped me understand my identity in a way that I’m more confident in who I am, whether that’s in the United States or elsewhere. 


Daijonna Glee (business student with a minor in Korean studies), a Diversity Ambassador Scholarship recipient, participated in International Business in London in winter 2022.


The Diversity Ambassador Scholarship program provides awards to study abroad for a summer, semester, or academic year. The scholarships are intended to support the diversification of students who study abroad. Upon completion of the study abroad program and return to UI, award recipients are asked to submit a photo and an open letter to prospective students or suggest an alternate means of sharing with prospective students.

Please note that the opinions and views expressed by diversity ambassadors are solely those of the students and do not reflect or represent the views of International Programs or the University of Iowa.


International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa (UI) is committed to enriching the global experience of UI students, faculty, staff, and the general public by leading efforts to promote internationally oriented teaching, research, creative work, and community engagement.  IP provides support for international students and scholars, administers scholarships and assistance for students who study, intern, or do research abroad, and provides funding opportunities and grant-writing assistance for faculty engaged in international research. IP shares their stories through various media, and by hosting multiple public engagement activities each year.