In honor of Black History Month, we wanted to highlight a few famous African-Americans that studied abroad.

  • W.E.B DuBois was a historian, civil rights activist, sociologist, and author. It was during his time at Harvard University that he choose to study abroad in Germany at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He went on to be the first African-American to earn a doctorate and was a co-founder of the National Associate for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
  • James Lesure is an actor best known for his role as Mike Cannon on NBC’s comedy-drama Las Vegas. James served in the Air Force Academy before attending the University of Southern California where he received his BFA in Theater. While at USC, he studied abroad in England at the University of Kent.
  • Kids of the 1990’s will easily recognize actress Tia Mowery. Tia’s initial fame came from co-starring with her twin sister in the hit comedy Sister Sister. When the show wrapped production, Tia enrolled at Pepperdine University and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology. While at Pepperdine, she spent three month living and studying abroad in Italy.
  • The real McCoy – Elijah McCoy, that is – also studied abroad. Elijah is a noted African-American inventor with over 57 patents to his name, but it all started while he was studying abroad in Scotland. Elijah served a mechanical engineering apprenticeship when he was only fifteen in Edinburgh, Scotland. When he returned to Michigan and became a locomotive fireman and oiler for the Michigan Central Railroad, he was able to easily identify issues with engine lubrication and overheating. Because of his background in mechanical engineering from studying abroad in Scotland, he was able to fix the problem and was issued his first patent.
  • Cory Booker is the current mayor of Newark, New Jersey. He is best known for his personal involvement in public service; he has gone on a 10-day hunger strike, took in victims of Hurricane Sandy, and lived on a “food stamp” budget. Before he became major, he studied at Standford University where he received a Rhodes Scholarship to study abroad in the UK at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford.

So, are you inspired yet? Studying abroad may lead to amazing things – it’s time for you to get started and find a program!