Matthew participated in the Higher Education in Brazil study abroad program organized by the College of Education and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion that was in Salvador, Brazil last March.
This amazing education abroad experience allowed me to grow, learn and change in more ways than I thought possible. I was able to gain insight into the challenges that individuals of African descent face in another country which was an extremely eye-opening experience because the stories of people that have historically been oppressed are often not told in full. And being able to learn about the Afro-Brazilian experience from the people themselves was outstanding because I would have never thought the individuals in Brazil had similar experiences as those in America.
Another great moment of this trip was learning about a new educational system and this experience is something that I believe will be able to help me in my professional years. As a potential social worker or future policy maker, I appreciated being able see the highs and the lows of another educational system. Experiencing another way of going about educating students from elementary school to college was extremely informative. This knowledge will allow me to have a greater understanding of different and improved ways could help to shape the educational system in the United States.
Lastly, my favorite part of this trip was being able to learn about, experience and live in the Brazilian culture with people I had once not known. This has allowed me to create great new bonds and friendships with people that I may never have met without this wonderful trip.