Kayla's Yoruba Study Abroad Adventure


By Kayla Manani Rose, Psychology Undergraduate Student
Fulbright-Hays Yoruba Group Project Abroad - Summer 2023

I am Kayla Manani Rose, a rising Senior Psychology major, Biology minor, representing Long Island, New York. This summer, I was blessed to study Yoruba abroad at the University of Ibadan, in Ibadan, Nigeria. This was my first time visiting The Motherland and I'm blessed that I got to do so while representing my beloved HBCU, Howard University. The lessons I learned in Nigeria were taught in many more spaces than just the classroom. In order to be able to allow my mind and heart to be open to learning, I had to respectfully and intentionally submerse myself inside of the culture. I stayed with Yoruba families, had amazing food, visited various historical cities and states and spoke with many people in Yoruba, and with this, the language and culture came to me more and more. 

I will always remember the peace I found in Africa, that honestly doesn't exist in America. The way of life and how the people live among the land and not against it is the simple beauty of Yoruba culture, and how it is ongoing in today's time. I was able to create life-long relationships with people regardless of how I spoke the Yoruba language. They were able to meet me on my level, and take me farther. This is the beauty of love no matter where we are in the world. Visiting Nigeria also put more emphasis and meaning on the beauty of humanity to me, once again.

I know that I will always remember my two months spent living in Africa. Ever since I've been back in the US, I can see just how much I have taken for granted. I am now more intentional about how I utilize the resources that are easily accessible to me. I am more intentional about the words that I speak because they hold power. The power of the tongue is real! As I matriculate through my college life and immerse myself into adulthood, I see how important it is that we mean what we say and live what we speak. I also look forward to bonding with others from different cultures.


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