By Lili Martinez
An upcoming Center for Global Engagement (CGE) panel will aim to dispel the exotic myths surrounding the countries of the African diaspora. Students on the “Experiences Across the African Diaspora: Tales from OCS” panel will discuss their first-hand experiences with students considering study-abroad programs on the continent or in the Caribbean islands. This is the second panel the CGE and the Office of Multicultural Affairs have held on off-campus study in Africa.
The panel, scheduled for 11:00 a.m. today, deliberately coincides with Black History Month, according to Director of Multicultural Affairs Chris Kennerly. “We had the idea to do [the panel] for Black History Month, and it’s an opportunity for those students who studied abroad to debrief and share their experiences with fellow students, especially [anyone] who is considering study abroad on the continent or … in the Caribbean,” he said.
Nine students will participate in the panel, representing South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Senegal and the Caribbean.
Assistant Director of the CGE Lisa Swaim said the panel will offer students first-hand knowledge that will be useful to them while studying abroad.
“Students choose [off-campus study] programs in Africa not always having the context or history or the understanding of the place that they’re going, so this is a chance for them to begin to hear from the students who have been there,” she said.
Kennerly also emphasized how important it is for students to learn from their peers when making their study-abroad decisions.
“This is an opportunity to hear from fellow Kenyon students about their experiences,” he said. “It’s not just reading a pamphlet about studying on the continent – you’re actually hearing from students themselves. It will be good to hear directly from them, as that can influence your desire to go one way or the other.”
“Experiences Across the African Diaspora: Tales from OCS” is today, Thursday, Feb. 23 at 11:00 a.m. in Hoehn-Saric House (the Center for Global Engagement).