SIT Study Abroad and Spelman College Host Summit on Improving Access to Study Abroad for HBCU Students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Kathryn Schoenberger in Washington DC, 202 464-6979

Washington, DC (June 5, 2015)

SIT Study Abroad and Spelman College will host a summit focused on expanding access to high-impact study abroad opportunities for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities on June 9. The first-of-its-kind event will include representatives from the White House Initiative on HBCUs, the U.S. Department of State, HBCUs and major foundations.

The summit aims to engage key stakeholders in discussions on ways to increase the number of HBCU students who participate in study abroad programs. African-American students have historically been underrepresented in study abroad programs and make up only 5.3 percent of the current total number of Americans who study overseas.

“SIT Study Abroad focuses on critical global issues, such as climate change and human rights, and young African Americans must be a part of the discussion on how to deal with these challenges,” said Laurie Black, SIT’s dean for external relations and strategic enrollment management. “This event builds on SIT’s two decades of work with HBCUs to increase study abroad opportunities for students of color.”

The goal of the event is to establish a collaborative group to seek new funding to support the participation of students of color in high-impact study abroad programs. Program costs, need for faculty development and lack of advising and support infrastructure are often cited as significant barriers to studying abroad for students at HBCUs. The summit will also focus on ways to internationalize the curriculum, better advocate for the inclusion of students of color in study abroad programs and increase the number of HBCU students pursuing education abroad.

“Spelman College is delighted to co-host the HBCU High Impact Study Abroad Summit with The School for International Training,” said Margery A. Ganz, Ph.D., director of the Study Abroad and International Exchange Program, and professor of history at Spelman College. “We are excited to welcome our colleagues from 20 plus HBCUs to Spelman’s campus to discuss ways in which we can help our students have transformative experiences in locations all over the world. Today, the world expects our graduates to have an international perspective. This summit is part of Spelman’s efforts to see how we can further expand study abroad so that every Spelman woman will have an international experience before she graduates. We see this meeting as a major step towards that goal.”

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