Race and Ethnicity Abroad

T'Shailyn Harrington reflects on her IES internship as a marketing and public relations coordinator at the Cape Town Science Center.

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I identify as an Asian American, specifically of East Indian descent, and I have felt that too much of my focus was on the academic side of college. Most of the Indians I know participated in few to no activities outside of the classroom because we have been raised in a culture that stresses the importance of academics far more than our non-academic interests. Many of my family members and friends of Indian descent love to tell me about their time in college but when I ask them what clubs or events they participated in I too often get blank stares.

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Hi! My name is Russell. I’m a Biomedical Engineering major from West Branch,  Iowa. I studied abroad the summer after my freshman year in Hong Kong, at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). My time abroad was undoubtedly the most memorable two months of my life, and I’d like to share   some of my experiences with you here.   Before I went abroad, I remember feeling varying combinations of  apprehensiveness and enthusiasm. On one hand,  I was nervous - this was my first time ever traveling outside of the US,  and I knew zero Cantonese. But I also felt a feeling of excitement growing inside of me. Excitement to experience what life is like in a   country so different than the U.S., and excitement for all the adventures that I imagined having.  

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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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