Academic Program

Study Abroad!

AADS majors are encouraged to participate in a Study Abroad program, especially in Africa and Latin America. Visit for more about the programs in South Africa and Botswana.

The African American and African Diaspora Studies Program has worked with the International Programs Center to establish a Study Abroad Exchange with the University of Botswana in Gaborone, Botswana. This exchange began Spring 2009. Visit to learn about the University of Botswana.


For information about travel abroad stipends, contact the Program Director.

Zhayawna Johnson’s Testimony:

“To this day I am still in shock that I actually had the chance to study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. For some people, traveling outside of the country is something that happens once, twice or even multiple times a year. However, for me I knew that this may be a once in a lifetime opportunity that I needed to take advantage of.

Although I was in Cape Town to “study” I gained so much more from this experience than just an extension of my education. My time spent abroad was filled with unforgettable unexpected adventures. I participated in an African dance class that incorporated traditional dances from all over Africa. I had the opportunity to learn about the sociological issues of race, class, and gender from a South African perspective. To name a few activities, I had the pleasure of visiting Nelson Mandela’s prison, located on Robben Island. I went on a two week backpacking trip down the coast of South Africa, beginning in Johannesburg and making various stops along the coast on the way back to Cape Town. I spent two days living amongst Xhosa people in their village where I participated in traditional Xhosa activities like fetching water from a nearby spring and grinding maize on a stone.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about Cape Town and all of its beauty. One of the things that I loved most about being in Cape Town was its diversity. I had the chance to meet and make connections with not only local South Africans, but people from all over Africa and the world. I feel as though I met people while abroad that I will remember for the rest of my life. Studying abroad taught me a lot about myself and other people. It also made me realize how travel outside of the United States allows one to see how life is lived elsewhere. As for me, it has sparked my desire to have another extended abroad experience in the near future.

Being from a working class family, I thought that studying abroad was only something for members of the middle and upper class. However, I am proof that through the support of family and scholarship programs like the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, it is possible to study abroad. As a Gilman recipient, I was able to fund my trip without having to take out any loans. The AFS program and the College of Arts and Sciences also awarded a stipend to assist with my plane ticket. Without the generosity of those willing to support international education, this trip may not have been possible. Therefore I will forever be grateful to those that supported my endeavors and helped make this experience possible for me. My time abroad is something that I will hold near and dear to my heart for the rest of my life.”

The Next Great Travel Writer:

Nothing excites the imagination quite like travel – and the very best travel writing can make us feel like we’re right there, riding the dusty railways with Paul Theroux or sweltering in the heat of the Spanish sun with Hemingway at our side.

But if you’re an aspiring writer, it’s not always easy to get your voice heard…until now.

This winter, is making it their mission to find the best new writing talent out there – and they’re teaming up with Penguin to do it! So whether you’re a student with editorial ambitions or you spend your days jotting down notes on your next voyage, we’re giving you the perfect platform to tell us all about it, and also have the chance to win a one-on-one session with a Penguin editor.

How to apply:

They are looking for travel savvy short stories (up to 1,000 words) inspired by the following:

  • A travel experience unlike any other
  • What that experience is and how you tell the story is entirely up to you. All you need to do is craft your masterpiece and upload it through our portal below.

Five top judges from the worlds of travel and publishing were handpicked to help them to choose the lucky winner. In your writing, they’ll be on lookout for style, flair and true travel panache. There’s also a special prize for a favored student piece, so make sure to tell us if you’re a student (and you’ll still be eligible to win the main prize!). Please visit the following link for more information about this opportunity: