Virginia State University in 2024 held 2nd ‘study abroad’ in Morocco

Photo: (From left – top): Sharon Taylor, Stephanie O’Dell, Sean Cooper, Geoffrey Newton, Casey Perry. (From left – bottom): Batreda Raditsas, JaVan Jefferson, Lisa Hopson, VSU President – Makola Abdullah, Felicia Bishop, Jazmyn Bremby, Delano Douglas, Christopher Moore.

Early in January 2024, Virginia State University (VSU), located in the State of Virginia in the United States (US), has concluded its second annual “study abroad ambassadors” program in Morocco after holding its inaugural cohort in the last quarter of 2023 in the Northern African country.

As part of the study abroad program, the university sent a 14-person delegation of ambassadors comprising faculty, staff, and students to Morocco, which, according to VSU in a pre-departure interview with is part of the institution’s committed efforts to expand its “international horizons” so that a greater number of students can include global learning as part of their “VSU Trojan experience.”

The Trojan experience provides various academic and social opportunities that allow participants to build upon prior intellectual, social, and cultural perspectives. A Virginia State University education results in citizens with the capacity to appreciate their unique personalities, skillsets, and gifts, as well as the attributes, talents, and contributions of others in equal measure. 

The consummate Virginia State University Trojan understands that GREATER happens in the world when people strive for GREATER within themselves, inspire GREATER in others, and celebrate the GREATNESS that each person in the GREATER global community possesses.

This second delegation of VSU study abroad ambassadors arrived in Morocco on January 4, 2024, and will stay through the 12th. These representatives will now join other VSU community members who have studied abroad in the recruitment and support of other VSU students, staff, and faculty for international education opportunities.

This second cohort of study abroad ambassadors was met in Morocco by Drs. Daniel Roberts and Wes Bellamy. In total, 12 faculty staff, and two students made it to Morocco. 

“As a university committed to providing students with outstanding educational opportunities, VSU has seen its overall student population grow from the testimonies of alumni who have shared their Trojan experience,” – said Dr Lisa Hopson to, who further shared that the program has also helped enhanced VSU’s internationalization status as a prestigious Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the U.S.

“Last year, we had the largest growth in study abroad participation in the school’s record. This included student experiences in Japan, Ghana, Morocco, England, Costa Rica and Spain among other places,” continued Dr. Lisa Hopson, one of two Faculty Program Leads with Dr. Dan Roberts, who leads the Office for International Education (OIE), and the Division of Global Leadership and Talent Development. Together, they’ve been tasked, as a part of the VSU Strategic Plan with internationalizing the VSU campus community.

VSU’s Office for International Education (OIE) believes that the testimonies of students who have studied abroad can increase the number of students who will choose to participate in international education opportunities. The university also seeks to increase the number of students studying abroad by preparing and developing them during their first year.

Speaking to this, the President of VSU, Dr. Makola Abdullah, stated, “VSU is very proud to support the internationalization of our campus through our study abroad program. We look forward to promoting these efforts by developing an increasing number of our faculty, staff, and student Ambassadors through the Office of International Education.”

“If we continue to identify and grow ambassadors in both faculty and students, we can be in a better position to increase the engagement of students studying abroad. All hands on deck when it comes to adding to the mission of internationalizing VSU,” said the VSU president.

Founded in 1882, VSU offers 36 undergraduate degree programs, 16 graduate degree programs, two doctoral degree programs, and eight certificate programs. With a current student population of approximately 5,000, the HBCU institution’s 231-acre campus provides 11 residence halls, 18 academic buildings, and a 412-acre agriculture research facility.

“VSU develops leaders who are more engaged with their learning and are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and disposition to be globally competitive while remaining civically engaged. We develop leaders who are globally competitive while remaining civically, some of whom experienced Morocco today and will share their culturally and educationally immersive experience from there with their colleges here in the US and the world.” – said a VSU staff to after the Morocco trip.

Many VSU students can only participate in study abroad opportunities through the financial support made possible by the many generous donors like you. People choose to donate for many different reasons, and all monetary donations help, whether it’s one dollar or many dollars. can assure you that the school will appreciate if you consider donating to its transformational Study Abroad Ambassador program so more students can participate in study abroad experiences.

Monetary donations may be sent:

1. Via mail, send to Virginia State University, Honors College, P.O. Box 9207, Petersburg, VA 23806. Make check payable to Virginia State University and memo line VSU Honors Program-Foundation – Travel Initiative, or

2. Online by clicking this link — and making your contribution.

Visit the school’s official website to learn more at


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