January 19th, 2011
02:39 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) – First lady Michelle Obama spent part of her busy morning (she had a few people at the White House for a welcoming ceremony for the President of China!) at Howard University encouraging students to study overseas.
Mrs. Obama said that American students studying aboard help not just the students but help the United States.
“Studying in countries like China is about so much more than just improving your own prospects in the global market. The fact is with every friendship you make and every bond of trust you establish, you are shaping the image of America projected to the rest of the world,” she said.
Mrs. Obama spoke to university and high school students about her own college experience and why she didn’t take the opportunity to study overseas.
“My brother and I were among the first in our families to go to college. So trust me, we were way more focused on getting, in, getting through, and getting out,” she said.
She encouraged the students not to follow her example. Mrs. Obama’s remarks were part of a program that included a panel discussion with four students who studied in China.