What’s keeping black students from studying abroad?


Here’s one statistic about racial disparity that you most likely haven’t heard too much about: Only about 5% of Americans who study abroad are black, according to the Institute of International Education. This is a gap that’s especially dizzying considering the fact that more black students are in higher education than ever before.

How big of a problem is this, really?

Not only does this lack of travel translate into a dearth of black people in international careers and leadership positions (for instance, within the State Department there are few black Americans in top diplomatic posts and thus few who grapple with pressing foreign-policy issues), but it also means missed opportunities for a community that’s poised to benefit the most from them.

In terms of economics and cultural enrichment, black people perhaps stand to gain the most from education abroad. Bloomberg released a report last year that shows that student loans aren’t color blind…

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