Morgan State University is one of the country’s many historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that gives Brazilian students an opportunity to study abroad and experience a new culture, new people and food, and particularly, the Black college experience.

In 2012-2013, only 5.3% of students attending MSU studied abroad, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education. But Morgan State officials says by increasing its international enrollment, many more of its students will be the beneficiary of global exposure:

[quote_box_center]”Traditionally our institutions went after students that other institutions would not allow in,” says David Wilson, who has been Morgan State’s president since 2010. “But now, other institutions are aggressively going after those students in ways that are unprecedented. And so we have to also be competitive and go after students who traditionally go to those institutions — meaning international students, meaning white students, meaning Hispanic students.”[/quote_box_center]

What’s more, traditionally many Black people attending HBCUs has had a harder time trying to cover the cost of studying abroad, most of these students probably never thought studying abroad was possible, and forced that out of the question altogether.

One of those students who has found a more affordable way to experience different cultures is Kristina Ackerman, a graduate student and also a member of iPals at Morgan State. Assisted by the White House’s HBCU-Brazil Alliance, the program “pairs Morgan State students with international students on the campus.”

Ackerman understands the importance and value of her volunteership in the iPals program, and believes targeting and recruiting different types of races to Black institutions is not an issue, “You’re learning about different life experiences, different growing-up situations, different laws, different daily lives, different food,” said Ackerman.

“It’s still an HBCU. It’s not going to change what Morgan was and is… I think we need more of it,” she said.

Tommy G. Meade Jr. is the Editor-in-Chief of HBCU Buzz and writes about whatever he finds on Google Alerts. Follow him on Twitter.

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