The idea for this podcast came about after some grumpy, mid-career education abroad professionals with specialization in the MENA (Middle East, North Africa) regions reminisced — as they often do — about working in the region in days gone by, and their most favorite moments being ‘splained to about the Global South contexts in which they worked. Someone said, “We should have a podcast.” And someone else said, “I’ll learn how to edit.” And others said, “What a great idea!” So here we are. Studying Abroad in the Global South aims to do some very particular things. Given that the overwhelming majority of US students who study abroad don’t do so in the Global South, this podcast seeks to forefront the Global South — conceptually and practically and in all its great diversity, as its framework. Because of shared histories, indelibly linked by colonialism and its more recent iterations and everything that characterizes those, we believe that the Global South is a productive framework for engaging with some of the most pressing issues at the forefront of study abroad and higher education generally, many of which revolve around matters of identity and intersectionality (likewise indelibly linked by colonialism and its more recent iterations and everything that characterizes those). This podcast seeks to be a forum for talking about critical and difficult issues and being a record of those discussions, hoping they might be a resource for students and the administrators, faculty, and education abroad providers who support them. The manner in which the study abroad industry sets up one-way relationships for “clients” — students, universities, and parents — over providers mirrors the way in which the industry interacts with the global south generally. This podcast therefore seeks to be a space where providers — not the spokespeople large providers put “out there” to be faces for students, universities, and parents — but the people who actually run programs, can initiate and drive conversations and define their parameters. As this project springs from the — not loins, but something — of Middle East and North Africa area specialists, its initial steps are, by default, rooted in that part of the Global South. We hope that our early focus on race, class, gender, sexuality, positionality and their impacts on the MENA study abroad context for US Americans leads to more extensive provider-to-provider, south-to-south engagement regarding these and so many other issues. Quite often we’ll just have an interesting guest aboard to share their important knowledge about our regions. And surely sometimes we’ll resort to a bit of irreverent fun.
A year studying abroad in Jordan was one factor in helping our guest embark upon a new phase of a life best lived. In this episode, the title of which aims to celebrate Pride while claiming and flipping a term from wonk-speak, he shares with us important insights about identity from his time abroad.
More Complicated than the Idea of African Spaces
In conversation about committing professionally and personally to the MENA regions in all of their complexity, learning Arabic, and the differences between studying abroad as an undergraduate versus as a graduate student, two colleagues discuss the importance of representation and institutional support through the lens of their experiences as Black women of color.
"The Locals" in the Widget Factory
Two long-time study abroad professionals discuss their grim view that study abroad, especially in the Global South, is built on an inescapable foundation of inequity between students and host communities. Their wide-ranging discussion focuses on homestays and other close encounters created for students with “the locals.”
An early-career MENA (Middle East, North Africa) regional specialist and study abroad professional talks candidly about identity and intersectionality through the lens of her first experiences studying abroad as a Black woman of color.
A Podcast by This Name...
An introduction characterized by one practitioner’s rage-y thoughts about study abroad as an industry that remains at the behest of the Global North. This podcast’s goal to be a resource for intersectional understandings of issues important to study abroad, explained.