Study Abroad | African American & African Diaspora Studies

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.”