HBCUs Abroad Presents: Victoria

Meet Victoria Mann

Chesapeake, Virginia
Howard University, Class of 2013
Victoria is currently studying for her Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology at Tulane University. Her first major international trip was to Australia at the age of 12. However, since starting at Howard University, she has been able to travel, often for free, thanks to grants and programs at her schools. Through Howard she was able to go to China and Ethiopia and at Tulane University she was able to find funding to go to Brazil. While in all three of these countries, she has been able to work on research projects to help develop her professional skills. Victoria is also a part of the Master’s International program at Tulane and will be leaving for Peace Corps Mozambique in September.

     What was your motivation for studying abroad?
     I really wanted a chance to experience a new culture and I was interested in going to an African country.

     What is your favorite memory from study abroad?
     One of the people that my travel partner and I met invited us to his house to meet his family. They had a coffee ceremony for us and cooked us pasta. Even though most of his family didn’t speak English and we didn’t speak Amharic they were so welcoming. They even let us spend the night at their house and gave up their bed for us.

     What was the toughest thing about studying abroad?
     The toughest thing had to be the lack of privacy. Everyone would know my travel partner’s and my business. Once the concierge at the hotel even gave my phone number to some random guy.

     How has your experience abroad helped your personal development?
     The trip helped me to be more aware of my own culture as a Black American and how to be able to adapt to a different culture and environment.

     How has study abroad impacted your global awareness?
     Study abroad showed me that even though people can be worlds apart there could still be so many similarities in the culture. I really enjoyed my time there and I realized how giving and unselfish people in Ethiopia are. 

      How has study abroad impacted your education and/or career?
      I think going to Ethiopia helped me to actually decide what I wanted to do with my life. After going there I knew I wanted to work in a global setting and to be able to learn more about other people’s cultures through travel. It also encouraged me to join Peace Corps. I will be leaving for in September for Mozambique.

      What advice would you give to someone thinking of studying abroad?
     I would say that they should just do it! And to make sure that they’re willing to immerse themselves in the culture and to not just be a tourist. I think their trip would be vastly improved by interacting with local people and not just other foreigners. 

How can people contact you for more information?
Email: vmann2@tulane.edu
Instagram: SoulofNzinga

Thank you Victoria!
Want to represent your HBCU with an interview? I’m still looking for lots of stories! Contact Me!

-The Natural Travelista