Episode 13: Kory Saunders - "This is for you, too."

Study Abroad can be a great catalyst to expose more students of color to the greater world. Language acquisition, intercultural skills, and networking are just some of things that underrepresented students can get if only they have access.

Which is why Kory Saunders is here. 

Kory is a study abroad professional, and founder of Kultural Kurators,  who as you will hear is equally passionate about representation both on the student and the student affairs professional side. She shares her story of going international — from learning Spanish at a young age, living in Europe to complete her graduate degree as well as how she transitioned from marketing to the field of higher education.

This episode discuss the barriers that keep underrepresented groups from going, challenge the idea of deficiency thinking and talk strategies to diversify the study abroad profession. 

You can visit Kory at  https://www.kulturalkurators.com/. Below are some excerpts from Amanda’s conversation with Kory.  

Challenging Stereotypes

There are so many things that people want to tell BIPOC and Black and Brown students about what they can and cannot do. And I’m always thinking, why would you say that to ANYBODY? If you’re not going to say it to Johnny over there, then don’t say it to Jamal. That makes no sense to me. So I wanted to make sure that -- I just wanted to do my part. My professors from Hampton (University) that I’m close to...they’ve instilled so much in me, that I wanted to pay that forward and be part of a solution to a problem that I saw.

The Value of Study Abroad

It’s been said that studying abroad helps with employability. And if it helps with employability, then our Black and Brown students definitely need to do it. Because, we already got stacks against us. Unfortunately in many places and spaces. Still... Study abroad gives you that high impact practice -- that allows you to practice many of those soft skills that employers are looking for? It will give you that edge . I know that one of my former supervisors at Newsweek told me that one of the reasons they hired me was because I could speak to my study abroad experience and how it related to the marketing position I had applied for. I’ve seen this happen firsthand.

Diversifying the Study Abroad Profession

One of things people would say is..well, maybe we need to change the criteria [to recruit more Black and Brown people into international education] because maybe there are not enough Black and Brown people who have studied abroad and I said, “Uh, but where are you looking?” Have you checked the HBCUs? Have you looked at your own institutions? Have you created a pipeline? Do they even know this can be a viable opportunity for them? Have you created the relationships?

To hear the full episode, click below or listen wherever you get your podcasts or listen on The Black Expat YouTube account. 

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