My Experience at the Global Student Leadership Summit by Diversity Abroad
This article was written by Molly Ronan, an Education Abroad Peer Advisor, who participated in the Global Student Leadership Summit
This week I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to take part in Diversity Abroad’s Global Student Leadership Summit. There I had the chance to interact with 50 other students and talk about how diversity and identity is shaped while abroad and how more diverse students can take advantage of studying abroad. This summit took place at the same time as the wider Diversity Abroad Conference, where hundreds of professionals across different aspect of study abroad come to learn about diversity.
At the conference I learned about what it takes to be a global citizen and the skills you learn from abroad that employers are looking for including: adaptive capacity, relational capacities, empathy, interculturalism, and systems thinking. The summit stressed doing what you are passionate about and if that is traveling: just go. There is no need for study abroad to be the only time you are abroad and there are so many opportunities to have a global career, some of which we explored and heard directly from people who do have successful international careers.
We also had a chance to brainstorm how universities can better support and encourage diverse students to study abroad, which we then presented to the wider conference. Ideas ranged from ambassador programs, connecting students with study abroad alums from a range of universities, recognizing and celebrating different identities, and allowing space for students to share their experiences when they return.
Overall, the conference allowed me to reflect on my study abroad experience, how it shaped me and my identity, how I want to use it moving forward, and how we can encourage students of all backgrounds to study abroad.