A large part of my identity is that I am a Black woman. I take pride in that, but I’m also very aware of my identity at all times. I wasn’t sure how that would combine with my study abroad experience, but I learned a lot about myself, and others, throughout the process.
I studied abroad through Academic Programs International (API) in the Fall of 2018 in Florence, Italy. Coming from the University of Alabama, I already understood how my identity impacted me at home, but I wondered how it would change in this new foreign country. I’m typically an optimistic person, and that did not change in this instance. In fact, I did little research surrounding Italian’s cultural views on women and African Americans. I’d been told by friends that Italians love Black women and that was enough for me to not be concerned.
And I had an amazing time studying abroad in Italy! But there were certain instances where my race came into play that are worth mentioning.
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