Beyond the Black Study Abroad Experience

Developing the Young AfricanA Leadership Initiative at Howard University


  • Amy Yeboah Howard University



Africa, study abroad, minority-serving institutions, culture, travel


The lack of participation in study abroad programs by Black students is a persistent concern in international higher education. The Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions (Gasmen, 2016), reported three main obstacles facing students of color: financial burdens, fear of anticipated racism, and finding study abroad programs of interest to them. While most scholarship on Black students studying abroad concentrates solely on increasing the number of opportunities, this article was determined to shift the focus onto the cultural gap. This paper describes the development of the 2014 Young African Leadership Initiative (YAALI) fellowship that aims to go beyond the typical study abroad experience for Black students by providing travel opportunities to Africa, combatting fear with education and mapping a collective self-reflective experience. Over 4 years of the YAALI fellowship successfully increased Black students’ participation in study abroad experiences.



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Author Biography

Amy Yeboah, Howard University

Dr. Amy Yeboah, Ph.D. is a daughter of Africa, scholar, filmmaker, and Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Howard University. Currently, she teaches courses on Black Film, Education, and Gender. She is an invited presenter for Scribe Video Center’s Storyville series by the National Endowment for the Arts, a Mellon Foundation Global Citizen Fellow, and a former White House Initiative on HBCU All-Star Campus Mentor. As a filmmaker, Dr. Yeboah’s most recent work, Goodbye to City Schools, focuses on the impact the closing of schools has on staff, students, families, and community members in the city of Philadelphia. She has published in the journal Women, Gender, and Families of Color; Mosaic Magazine; and the CLA Journal. She has also contributed to and been an invited guest on BET News, PBS NewsHour, Direct TV, and Mother Jones.

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How to Cite

Yeboah, A. (2019). Beyond the Black Study Abroad Experience: Developing the Young AfricanA Leadership Initiative at Howard University. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Perspectives in Higher Education, 4(1), 1–21.