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African American Linguists (AAL)

Promoting World Languages in the African American Community

How can I study abroad for very little, or better yet for free?

Serve the community in a foreign land, get paid for it, and learn a world language in the process!

Peace Corps Volunteers work in the following areas: education, youth outreach, and community development; health and HIV/AIDS; agriculture and environment; business development; and information technology. Within these areas, the specific duties and responsibilities of each Volunteer can vary widely. Ask any Peace Corps Volunteer and he or she will tell you that everybody has a unique experience.

Teach English, get paid for it, and learn Spanish in the process!

  • Centro Venezolano Americano is a non-profit association founded in 1941 with the aim of bringing together people from Venezuela and the United States of America at a non-governmental level. During the last 62 years as a Binational Cultural Center, it has developed high-quality academic programs for the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and Spanish as a Second Language (SSL). It has also promoted awareness and recognition of American and Venezuelan cultural identities as means of communication and understanding, by bringing to the Venezuelan audiences a wide variety of artistic and cultural activities such as music concerts, theater plays, art exhibits, lectures and movie programs.
  • When I did the program, I didn’t have thousands of dollars for a study abroad and I wanted a program in a country where I knew I’d see people of color, so this program was perfect for me. The program pays a decent stipend for American students and helps to arrange for housing and bank accounts. It can go from 6 months to 2 years, and interns teach about 5-6 hours per day. ¡Es bien chévere, chica! It’s the perfect opportunity for a recent graduate who already knows a little Spanish and or even those who want to learn and are not afraid to have lots of independence in an international work study program. I loved it! Comments from AAL member, Tanya Hickman, GA

AAL wants to know about inexpensive ways for our students to travel/study abroad. Please submit your findings to be posted.

Students' Guide to Studying Abroad: Click Here


  • African-American Linguists Scholarship: The African American Linguists scholarship is given to an African American student who has demonstrated leadership and academic excellence while majoring or minoring in a world language. S/he should be one who is committed to the promotion of world languages within the African American community. Priority will be given to AAL members.
  • College Language Association (Study Abroad Scholarship): We encourage all students to apply and hope that your student will be the recipient of this distinguished award. Please duplicate the information and distribute it to those who are interesting in studying abroad for the upcoming academic year. Scholarship candidates must be nominated by a sponsor who is a member of CLA.
  • The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE): For many students, a study abroad experience is only possible with financial assistance. The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) offers parcial scholarships to cover international travel expenses for students planning language study outside of North America or Western Europe. One goal of the scholarships is to encourage minority students to study abroad. Competition for the CIEE scholarships and grants is keen and the quality of the materials submitted is very important. The scholarship application procedure is entirely independent from the CIEE program application.
  • IES (Institute for the International Education of Students): Since 1950, IES has been building quality study abroad programs and introducing students to new places, studies, and ways of thinking. A global non-profit educational organization, IES offers programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and South America.

Studying Abroad: Comments from AAL members

(AAL members studying/traveling abroad in Mexico)

  1. "IMMERSION! I would encourage them [African-Americans] to find an opportunity to immerse themselves in the language - mission trips, college exchange programs, international work programs, peace corps, even local churches or organizations where the target language is used. I would encourage them by showing them how much more marketable they could be with a second language under their belt." Brenee McDole, CA
  2. "Tenacity is key. A student should not let money be an object when it comes to studying abroad, which is a wonderful & much needed experience. Do the research on optional language schools & Scholarships, Scholarships, Scholarships! I'm a witness that the money is out there, but you must seek it out & not be discouraged when you do not get it the first time. Try again." Andranique Ellis, AR
  3. "There are many opportunities out there to learn, travel and experience languages and cultures that are different from your own beyond the boundaries of the US. Explore them and do not limit yourselves." Frances McCartty-Dunlap, NJ
  4. "Our lives are enhanced by interacting and associating with people. We learn more about the world, other people and ourselves. Learning as many languages as possible makes this process easier and more meaningful." Aurelia McNeil, MI

Study Abroad Programs Recommended by AAL Members

Listed below are language schools that AAL members & friends have attended. Feel free to contact members below for additional information.

  • Recommender: Camellia Cuthrell
  • Location: Antigua, Guatemala
  • School: Casa de Lenguas
  • Description: "Casa de Lenguas is in the beautiful, historic city of Antigua. The tuition covered all educational expenses, 3 meals a day, and lodging with a host family, which greatly increased my opportunities to speak the target language. The school I chose also had weekly educational excursions to points of interest. There were opportunities for plain fun, climbing the notorious volcanoes, chances to actually practice making the “comida tipica (traditional food),” and even to take latin dance lessons."  
  • Recommender: Crystal Eurress
  • Location: San José, Costa Rica
  • School: Instituto Universal de Idiomas
  • Description: This school is amongst the more expensive language schools in Costa Rica, but yet the best quality for your money spent. The school is very well organized, in a safe location, and prompt to assist students on all levels.
  • Recommender: AAL
  • Location: Cuernavaca, Morelos, México
  • School: Universidad Internacional-Centro Bilingue
  • Description: AAL recommends Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico as a great city for study abroad. Cuernavaca is the City of Eternal Spring-Springtime year round. Centro Bilingue is in the heart of Mexico (which means great opportunities for excursions such as Taxco, Acapulco, Teotihaucan etc), it's an established school (over 25 years of experience), actually the largest in Cuernavaca, the city is safe etc. The price is very reasonable. The only caution about Centro Bilingue is that is draws so many students from the USA that you can be drawn to speak a lot of English if you're not careful.
  • AAL wants to know where your travels have taken you. Please submit Language Schools that you have attended to be posted here.

Study Abroad Programs

See study results on minority concerns of studying abroad.