Dozens of Spelman women jet off annually to their study abroad programs. Margery A. Ganz, Ph.D., director of the Study Abroad and International Exchange Program at Spelman, and professor of history, says the criteria for study abroad is clear-cut and the payoff for the students endless. At least 32 countries have hosted Spelmanites across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America, and include universities in the West Indies, England, Czech Republic, Japan and Chile.
The trips can be life-altering. Ariel Eckblad, valedictorian of the Spelman class of 2010, applied for and won a Fulbright scholarship during her senior year. The award, which covers travel, research and study after graduation, allowed her to research women in government in India. Eckblad also won a Marshall Scholarship and studied at Royal Holloway, University of London before completing her studies at Harvard Law School. She was the third Marshall recipient for Spelman, and the College was the only HBCU to win a Marshall scholarship in that cycle. Since then, Tayler Ulmer, C'2015, who has a passion for travel and intellectual discovery, was also awarded both the Truman and Marshall Scholarships.
Design Your Own Path
Juliana C. K. Montgomery, C’2006, knows all about creating new experiences. A 2006-2007 Fulbright Fellow to the Czech Republic, she created, shot, and produced the first phase of a documentary, which explored visual images of women during Czech communist and post-communist eras. She went on to become a 2010-2011 Henry Luce Scholar to Singapore where she worked with HBO Asia and the Asian Film Archive as part of a cultural immersion professional fellowship program. As a result of Montgomery's humanitarian and international development interests,the veteran media professional has traveled in over 30 countries and her industry production-related experience has spanned four continents.
Make Something Happen
Like many classmates, Khadijah Robinson, C’2011, chose Spelman over other schools like FAMU, Duke and Alabama. She was Spelman’s first student to study at Portugal’s New University of Lisbon. “The best thing Spelman has done for me is forced me to seek out my own opportunities and grow up if I wanted to make something happen,” says Robinson.
Make a Profound Impact
Two study abroad experiences in Mexico and England “made a profound impact on” seasoned government affairs consultant Nicole Venable, principal at the Bockorny Group, a bipartisan lobbying firm.
The time overseas gave Venable “the travel bug.” She spent part of her graduate school time in Italy and still travels abroad annually. In gratitude, Venable meets with Spelman students who are interns on Capitol Hill and helps administer the “Spelmanites on the Hill” networking group.
She also established the Lady Von Scholarship at Spelman. It will be endowed to the $50,000 level. Current Spelman students have used the funds to study in China, South Africa and Senegal.