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JAY-Z Starts Scholarship For Students Who Want To Study Abroad

By Victoria M. Walker

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As one of the wealthiest entertainers on earth, JAY-Z often gets to travel internationally. More recently, he shot a music video at the Louvre Museum in Paris with his wife, Beyoncé.

But now, Hov is giving that opportunity to some lucky students through his Shawn Carter Foundation. The study abroad program was designed by JAY-Z’s charitable foundation and the Institute for International Education (IIE)/Gilman International Scholarship Program.

The program was started to “designed to expand the global experiences and leadership opportunities for underserved students through establishment of full study-abroad scholarships.” According to data from the foundation, 64 percent of the foundation’s scholars are first-generation college students.

Students who are selected will be required to complete a service project while abroad, according to the Shawn Carter Foundation website. Past recipients have come from colleges such as Princeton, Northwestern University, and Temple University.

Study abroad isn’t cheap, which limits many college students from taking the opportunity. According to the International Institute of Education, a semester abroad costs about $18,000. For popular locations such as Paris, the total cost can be as much as $35,000 for tuition and lodging.

Representation among study abroad students is also an issue. Just six percent of all study abroad students in 2016-2017 were Black, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators.


“Studying abroad has opened my mind to shifting my future academic and professional goals,” said Laquisha Springer, a Connecticut College student who studied abroad in Denmark.

“Not only did I get to learn about the Wandango and Uganda culture and many things about myself,” wrote London Johnson-Edwards, who spent her study abroad in Uganda, “But I also realized that those supporting me in America were able to live vicariously through me. I created lifelong bonds and friendships and now consider Uganda a second home.”

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Victoria M. Walker

Victoria M. Walker is an award-winning multimedia journalist and full-time lecturer in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film at her alma mater, Howard University. She was previously the breaking news and viral content video editor at The Washington Post.

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