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World class learning.

More African Americans are getting advanced degrees overseas. Here's a snapshot view on how to make the most of it.

IMAGINE JAUNTING PAST DOUBLE-DECKER buses and looking right instead of left as you cross the streets of London Streets of London may refer to:
  • Streets of London (song), 1969, written by Ralph McTell.
  • Streets of London (computer game), 1983, text adventure.
  • The Streets of London, 1929, crime film.
 on your way to class. Or taking in the Baroque architecture Baroque architecture

Architectural style originating in late 16th-century Italy and lasting in some regions, notably Germany and colonial South America, until the 18th century.
 of Brussels as you contemplate an upcoming exam on the intricacies of international commerce. These are not fantasy spring breaks, but reality for individuals who have chosen to pursue degrees abroad.

Foreign study, whether for credit or a degree, is no longer just a perk of the intellectual or financial elite. Today, employers place a high value on candidates with a background in international business and culture. Thanks to an abundance of exchange programs, scholarships and fellowships, record numbers of students are going abroad to study and soak up the culture firsthand. Most go for six weeks, a semester or even a year of study--others are enrolling for three or more years of undergraduate study or to completed their postgraduate programs. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 the Institute of International Education in New York Primary, middle-level, and secondary education
The University of the State of New York (USNY) (distinct from the State University of New York, known as SUNY), its policy-setting Board of Regents, and its administrative arm, the New York State Education Department, oversee all
, the number of Americans studying abroad increased nearly 6% in 1995-96 (the most recent year for which statistics are available) to 89,242, up from 84,403 the year before. Nonetheless, those numbers pale in comparison to the more than 400,000 foreign students who flocked to American institutions of higher learning higher learning
Education or academic accomplishment at the college or university level.
 during that same period. In fact, the number of Americans studying abroad represents less than 1% of total U.S. post-secondary school enrollments.

Most of those pursuing degrees abroad major in humanities or social sciences and go to Western Europe Western Europe

The countries of western Europe, especially those that are allied with the United States and Canada in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (established 1949 and usually known as NATO).
. "In some countries such as England, where only 20% of applicants are even admitted to college, admission standards are very high," says David C. Larsen, vice president and director for the Center for Education Abroad at Beaver College in Glenside, Pennsylvania Glenside is a census-designated place (CDP) in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 7,914 at the 2000 census. Geography
Glenside is located at  (40.102960, -75.152264)GR1.
. "It's not an easy task to gain admission, but an international education allows you to get to know another culture. That can be a benefit to you and your resume."

Before you pack, consider that costs can be a prevailing deterrent if the school is not approved for U.S. financial aid. Even if tuition is cheaper than in the U.S., the cost of living, depending on the country, might be much higher. You must also research a school's accreditation and how a foreign degree will play in the U.S. job market. In addition, pursuing an education abroad will force you to push the envelope not only academically, but also culturally, as you adapt to a different environment.


When Maya Kulycky took off for London in 1996, it was to learn under a famed and respected professor. As a political science major at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins University, mainly at Baltimore, Md. Johns Hopkins in 1867 had a group of his associates incorporated as the trustees of a university and a hospital, endowing each with $3.5 million. Daniel C. , she had become intrigued with the work of sociologist Paul Gilroy Paul Gilroy (born February 16, 1956) is a Professor at the London School of Economics.

Born in the East End of London to Guyanese and English parents (his mother was Beryl Gilroy).
 and his examination of African populations in the diaspora. With an unwavering interest in race relations race relations
Noun, pl

the relations between members of two or more races within a single community

race relations nplrelaciones fpl raciales

 and having written her senior-year thesis on the history of race riots This is a list of race riots by country. Australia
  • Burrangong (1860-1861) - Lambing Flat riots
  • Broome (1905,1914,1920) - Broome riots
  • Redfern (2004) - Redfern riots
  • Palm Island (2004) - Palm Island death in custody riot
 in the U.S., she headed off for a year-long master's degree master's degree
An academic degree conferred by a college or university upon those who complete at least one year of prescribed study beyond the bachelor's degree.

Noun 1.
 program in urban studies at Goldsmith College at the University of London For most practical purposes, ranging from admission of students to negotiating funding from the government, the 19 constituent colleges are treated as individual universities. Within the university federation they are known as Recognised Bodies , where Gilroy is now head of the sociology department Noun 1. sociology department - the academic department responsible for teaching and research in sociology
department of sociology

academic department - a division of a school that is responsible for a given subject

"I had always wanted to go to school abroad and had been planning for it even as an undergraduate," says the 23-year-old Evanston, Illinois Evanston is a city on Lake Michigan in Cook County, Illinois directly north of Chicago, east of Skokie, and south of Wilmette. The city was first settled in 1836, and has a total population of 74,239[1]. Evanston is part of Chicago's affluent North Shore region. , native. "I probably could have found a university here, but I was interested in the black population in the U.K. I thought it would give me a new perspective on racism in the U.S." With the help of a $22,000 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship that covered her $10,000 tuition, Kulycky was on her way. (Ambassadorial scholarships can last from three months to three years.)

What Kulycky did find in addition to the challenge of the program was that the study was very independent and that the eight hours or so of class each week was much less than she had expected of a graduate-level program. But with substantial reading assignments and six papers and a thesis required, the work was also quite challenging. Goldsmith is located in New Cross, a low-income, integrated section of London made up mostly of African and Caribbean immigrants; staying there also allowed Kulycky to gain a better perspective of the black culture in London. Fresh from her experience abroad, Kulycky is now at Yale Law School Yale Law School, or YLS, is the law school of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Established in 1843, the school offers the J.D., LL.M., J.S.D., and M.S.L. degrees in law. It also hosts visiting scholars and several legal research centers.  and hopes to one day practice public service law.

Living in a city that complements his study was also the goal of Troy Flowers Jr. Last year, the 32-year-old took a leave of absence from his job as a flight attendant at American Airlines to earn a master's degree in administrative studies and multinational commerce at Boston University Brussels Boston University Brussels, officially named the Boston University Brussels Graduate Center, and also known as BUB, is part of Boston University's Metropolitan College (MET), one of seventeen degree granting colleges that make up Boston University. . "I was burned out," says Flowers, who flew European, South American and Caribbean routes for five years while also earning his B.A. in comparative literature from New York University New York University, mainly in New York City; coeducational; chartered 1831, opened 1832 as the Univ. of the City of New York, renamed 1896. It comprises 13 schools and colleges, maintaining 4 main centers (including the Medical Center) in the city, as well as the . "I was looking for Looking for

In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with.
 another challenge, both professionally and academically." He chose Brussels, the European epicenter of business and politics, home of many multinational firms and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), established under the North Atlantic Treaty (Apr. 4, 1949) by Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United States.  (NATO NATO: see North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
 in full North Atlantic Treaty Organization

International military alliance created to defend western Europe against a possible Soviet invasion.
). "I wanted to distinguish myself in the North American North American

named after North America.

North American blastomycosis
see North American blastomycosis.

North American cattle tick
see boophilusannulatus.
 business job market, and this program is the best alternative to the M.B.A.," says Flowers, a Winston-Salem, North Carolina Winston-Salem is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 185,776; in 2004 the city annexed an additional 17,483 raising the population to 203,259. , native who will graduate in December.

His class of 100 boasts students from 25 different countries. The program stresses hands-on training. He and many of his peers work for major corporations in strategic planning posts. Currently interning as a market analyst for Dow Corning Europe, Flowers is working on a project that will determine new markets in Europe and North America for the chemical company's silicon technology. "I am making a valuable contribution to a company that might one day be a potential employer," says Flowers. Perhaps just as worthwhile is the fact that Dow is covering his $5,200 tuition this semester. The rent for his one-bedroom apartment is only $575. With food and other expenses moderately priced, Brussels is relatively cheap by European standards.


For all the benefits an international education offers, they do not come without some caveats. Despite fulfilling her educational goals, Kulycky still had to contend with something else. In a class of students from all over the world, she was faced with the prevailing foreigner's view of African Americans. "Their only perception was from movies like Pulp Fiction and other American media that perpetuate black stereotypes," says Kulycky, who roomed with six students, ages 23-35, from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Sweden and Norway. "I learned the power of the media and movies, and how they project the images of African Americans to those abroad."

This is not an uncommon occurrence, adds Margery Ganz, director of study abroad at Spelman College in Atlanta and history department chair. Spelman currently has 52 students studying in 21 countries in semester or yearlong programs. Ganz recalls the story of a Spelman student who went to Japan on exchange in the late 1980s only to be met by Japanese who were surprised that she wasn't a drug dealer, musician or athlete. "When she informed them that she went to a black college, they were amazed. It made them more aware of African Americans and black institutions." On the other hand, Ganz adds, African Americans studying in Africa shouldn't be discouraged if they're viewed first as Americans rather than as "returning brothers and sisters."

Perhaps more daunting daunt  
tr.v. daunt·ed, daunt·ing, daunts
To abate the courage of; discourage. See Synonyms at dismay.

[Middle English daunten, from Old French danter, from Latin
 than trying to counteract black and/or American stereotypes, Kulycky faced an even greater personal issue--homesickness. "I'm very tight with my family and it was hard for me to be away," says Kulycky, who traveled home for the holidays and found solace with a college friend living in Italy. "Being away instilled in me the value of family and intergenerational in·ter·gen·er·a·tion·al  
Being or occurring between generations: "These social-insurance programs are intergenerational and all
 relationships. Many of the other students had friends or family there, but I had no one." Fortunately, all Rotary scholars are matched with a local member of Rotary International who serves as a host counselor for support and in case of emergencies.

For Flowers, a small network of friends was essential to his speedy transition into Belgian life. "They helped me find a place to live and walked me through the bureaucratic circles you must maneuver through in order to get certain visas and work permits," he says. Informal gatherings with other African Americans working for international companies in Brussels also helped to ease the culture shock. But for students entirely on their own, U.S. embassies or consulates can offer contacts or organizations that can provide a touch of home.

Besides researching a country's race-relations history, you should familiarize yourself with local Customs. Unlike their foreign Counterparts, few American students speak a second language well enough to study in it. If you don't, then make sure you target programs that are conducted primarily in English.


Today's college students are taking advantage of study-abroad opportunities, not only to broaden their horizons, but also to increase their hiring opportunities. Resume's that reflect overseas travel, study and work experience stand out in a sea of job applications. But what is it really worth? Quite a bit, depending on your future goals. "I think graduate schools and employers are looking for it whether it's for a semester, a year or a degree," adds Ganz. "It gives students an edge and shows that you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and take a bit of a risk. Those who have studied abroad present themselves with confidence because they have survived."

As the global economy becomes more competitive, American multinationals and international companies desire candidates with international experience. For example, graduates of Boston University Brussels with an M.S. in management have a 100% placement rate for landing jobs throughout the world. For those American graduates who choose to work in Brussels, the rewards are well worth it. "It's difficult for Americans to get hired here. They can only get a work permit if they are placed in managerial positions at $100,000 a year or more," notes Joseph J. Heinlein Jr., director of Boston University Brussels.

Not only business degrees transfer into career success. Take Antoinette G. Davis, who is earning a medical degree from Ross University in Dominica, the West Indies. "Many people put a stigma on the foreign medical school because the thought is that you could not get into one in the States," says 31-year-old Davis, who graduated in 1989 from Niagara University in Niagara Falls, New York Niagara Falls is a city in Niagara County, New York, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 55,593. It is across the Niagara River from Niagara Falls, Ontario, both named after the famed Niagara Falls which they share. . Davis spent four years in the Army, serving in the Gulf War, before attending Ross, the only medical school to which she applied. "Compared to my peers who attended school in the U.S., I believe that we are at the same level," adds Davis, who was not required to take the MCAT MCAT
Medical College Admissions Test

MCAT Medical college admission test, pronounced, EM-cat A preadmission exam administered by the Psychological Corp., required in the US before entrance to medical school.
 for admission. "We have the same basic science background, but they have had more technological experience." Born in Jamaica, W.I., she didn't have to adjust to living in the Caribbean. While Davis could have chosen a school in the U.S., Ross was recommended for its high-quality curriculum by her father, a family physician. Currently doing her surgical and clinical rotations at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
, Davis expects to graduate this June and, with two of her three board exams behind her, hopes to be certified and licensed to practice in New York State.

Before you buy your plane ticket, research the university well and know what you want to get from the experience. Just because a country is intriguing doesn't mean that you'll get a fivestar education that will transfer well to the U.S. It's important to verify the accreditation of a school before your excursion. "Be very cautious of the school at which you choose to get a degree," warns Heinlein. "Many schools may have no solid accreditation, and a student may do a degree in international policy which is worthless." The U.S. Department of Education, the Council on International Educational Exchange Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) - non-profit organization promoting international education and scientific exchanges. Founded in 1947 and based in USA.  and the Institute of International Education provide information on studying abroad, or you can check Peterson's Study Abroad 1998 for information on the more than 1,600 programs in foreign countries (see sidebar, "World Class Resources"). Check with the respective school for information about required board certifications and transfer of credits.

For the learned individual who returns Stateside state·side  
1. Of or in the continental United States.

2. Alaska Of or in the 48 contiguous states of the United States.

adv. Informal
, humility is a virtue. "It is not a requirement of employment that you study abroad," says Reginald Stuart, corporate recruiter for Miami-based KnightRidder Inc., a newspaper and online new media company. "It's an asset you bring to your repertoire of background experiences. Travel tells an employer who you are and what you want out of life. But don't place too much emphasis on your international experience. It may, be an asset, but it is only one among many that you must have."


Institute of International Education (IIE See Apple II. ) 809 United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017-3580 212-883-8200

IIE publications Vacation Study Abroad ($39.95) Academic Year Abroad (44.95) Financial Resources for International Study ($39.95) Fulbright and other Grants for Graduate Study Abroad (free brochure) 800-445-0443 Peterson's Study Abroad 1998 (Peterson's, $29.95)

Scholarship and Fellowships

The Institute for International Public Policy/United Negro College Fund Fellows Program c/o Samuel T. Scott, Executive Director 8260 Willow Oaks Corporate Dr. P.O. Box 10444 Fairfax, VA 22031 703-205-3400

The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International One Rotary Center 1560 Sherman Ave. Evanston, IL 60201 847-866-3000

Robert Bailey Minority Scholarship Council on International Educational Exchange 205 East 42nd St. New York, NY 10017-5706 212-822-2600
COPYRIGHT 1998 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:includes also list of world class resources; African Americans earn degrees overseas
Author:Hayes, Cassandra
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Cover Story
Date:May 1, 1998
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