My goals for my Gap Year!

So when I tell you I have been mentally planning a study abroad for the longest time; I have been picturing and researching these trips since my junior year of high school. With time as I built my passion for film and black history and culture, I dreamed of getting the opportunity to go and see the specific history that was not already available in my own back yard for myself. As I wrote in my FSU gap year admissions essay growing up I had always felt a separation from culture. My parents would consistently put me in a lot of primarily white spaces and did not prioritize massively connecting me to my Nigerian and Haitian culture. This was extremely difficult for me because in every environment I always felt isolated and like an outsider. As such as I got older and started exploring my interest I gravitated towards everything black: black music, history, style, movies, pop-culture, literature, art you name it! Just anything to make me feel closer to a part of myself I felt I had lost. So when I discovered this and film is what I wanted to do with my life I made sure to create every opportunity possible to involve myself in spaces where I could be surrounded by my culture. When I decided I was going to FSU for film school, and I received an email about a gap year study program, it seemed like fate. From there through connecting with a family friend who had done a study abroad in Africa last year and through listening to the podcast by Tara Roberts, “Into the Depths,” I had indefinitely decided that I would study and document my travel in Tanzania for my first semester and in Costa Rica for my second semester. In Tanzania in needing to pick a project focus I decided to focus on a combination of neo-colonialism and black identity in Tanzania compared to that in the United States. I have always been interested in colonial history, specifically how it has affected modern day global black identity and life. This one, to me, was a no brainer. This is a topic I am always thinking about, and I like to focus a lot of my studies around. Then for Costa Rica ever sense listening to “Into the Depths,” a National Geographic podcast about archeologist Tara Roberts global adventure in exploring maritime transatlantic slave remains in order to discover more about her ancestry, I have wanted to do a similar project. I would love the opportunity to get more into underwater cinematography and put all those years of Spanish classes to good use; I have also had a slight interest in archaeology recently. So, I am very ecstatic to hopefully be able to explore those both! In short I am very excited for this journey, and I am excited to see the person and the project that will come out of it!

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