CISABROAD BLOG · June 18, 2020 · 9 Min Read
Celebrating Juneteenth! | 8 Blog Posts by Our Black Alumni

To celebrate Juneteenth this year, we’re #AmplifyingMelanatedVoices by sharing blog posts written by our Black alumni. CIS Abroad believes that Black students should have the opportunity and support to go abroad. We hope you’ll read these posts from our alumni and share with your networks.

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a celebration of June 19th, 1865 (two and a half years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation) when Union soldiers brought Galveston, Texas the news that the war had ended and that enslaved folks were now free. 

Journalist Danielle Young argues in a recent video from The Root that from this historical moment “Juneteenth was born. Our independence day. Our July Fourth. None of [the Reconstruction era] intimidation tactics could stop our ancestors from accepting and celebrating their freedom, and they celebrated defiantly.” Howard University researcher Dr. Lopez Matthews adds that, “Juneteenth is as much a celebration of perseverance as it is of freedom.”


Blog Round-Up

#1: Black, Gay, and First Time Abroad by Lindsey Burke

Black, Gay, and First Time Abroad

By Lindsey Burke

“So what was holding me back? This is a question I really had to sit with myself and reflect on to answer. The truth is, the thing holding me back from exploring a different culture was the lingering fear of how people abroad would react to my intersecting identities.”

Read Lindsey’s full blog post!


#2: 3 Tips for Being Black in South Korea by Devon Ellis

3 Tips for Being Black in South Korea

3 Tips for Being Black in South Korea

By Devon Ellis

“My family and friends scrutinized my decision to study abroad in South Korea. While outwardly I stood by my decision, I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that I had doubts occasionally. I consistently asked myself questions about being Black in South Korea, like ‘What will Korean people think when they see a Black guy walking around?’ ‘How will Korean people perceive me?’ ‘Will I be able to make friends?'” 

Read Devon’s full post, which has consistently been one of our most-read blogs EVER. Thank you, Devon, for sharing your voice. 


#3: Being a First-Gen Black Student in Spain by Wilnyde Saintus

Being a First-Gen Black Student in Spain

By Wilnyde Saintus

“Their instant approval shocked me. My parents were excited I was able to have this opportunity that they never had and never would have. They work long, painstaking hours to make sure that my two brothers and I are well taken care of. With the help of financial aid and scholarships, this was a cheap, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I got to embark on. Knowing that they could live vicariously through me with my photos and detailed descriptions of everywhere I traveled to within Europe had my parents basically shoving me out of the door to leave. It all seemed fine and dandy until the culture shock of being a Black student in Spain completely hit me.” 

Read Wilnyde’s full blog post!


#4: Why Every MBA Should Intern Abroad by Brianne Clemmons

Why Every MBA Should Intern Abroad

Why Every MBA Should Intern Abroad

By Brianne Clemmons

“While many recognize the value of studying or interning abroad as an undergrad, the opportunity is just as valuable for graduate students, if not more! I was fortunate to study abroad twice during undergrad and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to intern abroad now in grad school. MBA programs are notoriously fast-paced and jam-packed, leaving little room for much else but most require students to complete an internship. If any part of you is curious about interning abroad, then take a look at the reasons why I think every MBA should intern abroad.” 

Read Brianne’s full blog post!


#5: Top 5 Cultural Differences Between the US and New Zealand by Olivia Shields

Top 5 Cultural Differences between the US and New Zealand

By Olivia Shields

“A couple of times, my supervisor told me, ‘It’s morning tea time, Olivia.’ So, I had to stop everything I was doing at the time and have a cup of tea or coffee in the morning and afternoon. When I told my Kiwi co-workers that back in the States there is no such thing as a tea time (but that people only get an hour or half-an-hour lunch break), they were shocked.” 

Read Olivia’s full blog post!


#6: Balancing School and Life in South Korea by Devon Ellis

Balancing School and Life in Korea

By 2x blog author Devon Ellis

“Sometimes it gets a little difficult to focus on schoolwork and the STUDY part of studying abroad. But in a place as eccentric as Korea, there are so many ways to experience the culture while doing your homework.”

Read Devon’s second blog post!


#7: 4 Tips to Make the Most of Studying in Italy by Lindsey Burke

4 Tips to Make the Most of Studying Abroad in Italy

By 2x blog author Lindsey Burke

“My third piece of advice is to embrace walking. Walking is not only efficient when your destination is close, but also entertaining because it allows you to explore the city.”

Read Lindsey’s second blog post!


#8: Video Round-Up: Jordan’s Semester on the Gold Coast featuring Jordan Washington

Jordan’s Semester on the Gold Coast | Video Round-up

Jordan Washington, a legal studies major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, spent Spring 2018 on the Gold Coast of Australia. Our video coordinator met up with him at Bond University and interviewed him about his experience abroad.

Watch the videos!


Happy Juneteenth! Hope you enjoyed these blog posts by some of our Black alumni. Learn more about Juneteenth from the National Museum of African American History & Culture in D.C. and check out more ways to celebrate Juneteenth weekend this year.

The CIS Abroad blog is run by Zoë Crabtree, Jenn Weisgerber, Siobhan Tripp, Emily Negard, and more folks on our marketing team. Head over to the “Meet the Team” page to learn more about us as individuals. On the blog, we share student-written content and information for students, advisors, other study abroad professionals, and families of students studying abroad. Check out our Facebook and Instagram for more from us and our students!