Race and Ethnicity Abroad

Diversity Ambassador Faradis Lindblom
With my tan skin, Arabic first name and Finnish last name, I get asked a lot of questions about my identity in the U.S. Almost every time I am introduced to someone new, I can guarantee I will be asked “What is your nationality?” or “Where are your parents from?” And although I understand that most people mean well and are just curious, there are times that I can’t help but feel out of place in my home country and even home state of Iowa.

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Diversity Ambassador Taylor Limas
During my study abroad experience in Madrid, I was thankful for the sights I saw, the people I met, and the journeys I went on. But one of the most gratifying experiences was being able to find myself and identify with my Hispanic background. I felt as though a part of me that was empty for so long was finally filled.

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My name is Lina Khodor and I am a senior studying International Studies on the Human Rights track and with a minor in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies. I studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic for the spring semester of 2017. In Prague I found myself inspired by the art, architecture, and the sheer amount of beer consumed by the locals.

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Diversity Ambassador Jenny Gonzalez
My name is Jenny and I am an undergraduate student currently in the athletic training program. I am a first generation student from the suburbs of Chicago. I am half Polish and half Guatemalan and, as you can imagine, I was brought up in a household full of different culture. From a young age I was very interested in indulging in different cultures so I knew studying abroad was something I wanted to do when I came to the University of Iowa.

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Diversity Ambassador Taylr Nobis
Hi there! My name is Taylr Nobis and I am a sophomore nursing student here at the University of Iowa. Traveling to India started out as a mere dream during my first semester of my freshman year. When I first heard about the India Winterim program I thought that it sounded like an amazing experience, but having never been out of the country (and barely out of the Midwest!), I never thought it would be something I would actually do. I put it out of my mind for almost a year, but in what seemed like a blink of the eye I was opening my acceptance letter to the program. It was quite the dream come true- I had always wanted to travel the world and this was such a great start to my worldwide adventure!

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Diversity Ambassador Alyssa Esquivel
My name is Alyssa, I am a senior studying Biomedical Engineering. I am excited to tell you about my study abroad experience in Alicante, Spain! Alicante really exceeded my expectations, I loved everything about that city. From its beautiful beaches and mountains to the cute little cafes on every block, it really is one of the most beautiful places I have visited.

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Diversity Ambassador M Cerritos
Before coming to the university, I knew studying abroad was an experience I wanted to go through. Being the youngest child of immigrant parents, I was grateful for the opportunities I was given to achieve my goals. I was raised to make the most out of my opportunities and to appreciate different cultures and people. Once I came to China, it was eye opening.

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Diversity Ambassador Rita Guzman
My name is Rita Guzmán, and I am a junior studying marketing, international business, and Portuguese. This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to intern abroad in Dublin, Ireland. Being in Ireland for two months led to constant self-reflection and insight about my identity.

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Diversity Ambassador Maile Davis
In the spring of 2016, I embarked on an amazing travel opportunity with Semester at Sea. Semester at Sea is a study abroad program sponsored by an American university that travels across oceans to multiple countries by ship. The ship is our home and the world our classroom. I traveled to Eastern Asia and areas of Africa. My itinerary included Japan, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco and then docking in Southampton, London. By the time I returned home, I had traveled to 17 different countries over the course of five months. Rather than cultural immersion, I experienced cultural comparison.

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Diversity Ambassador Kennedy Poro
I was lucky enough to grow up in the suburbs of Kansas City in a very nice area. Being the daughter of an American and a Filipino, I’ve grown up living in the American culture while celebrating the Filipino every chance I get. If anyone knew how important it was to understand, respect, and appreciate other cultures, it would be me. I’ve had opportunities to travel to the Caribbean area multiple times for vacation, but I’ll admit that my experience with the different cultures never passed a superficial level. I may have seen all of the beautiful sights a country has to offer, but all I was seeing was just another beach. I was so excited to get the opportunity to redeem myself and be completely immersed in the Italian culture, one I’ve had little to no experience with.

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