In this paper, I discuss some of the processes that characterized the creation and consolidation of the University of International Integration of Afro-Brazilian Lusophony (Unilab) in Bahia, as part of the expansion project of public higher education in Brazil that was implemented during the Lula presidency (2003–2010) and defined in the government’s internationalization and regionalization project. To this end, I reviewed the literature and institutional documents from the past four years and analyzed observations of daily campus life. I highlight some challenges as well as possibilities for young international students, particularly young Africans from the five Portuguese-speaking countries, and for Brazilian nationals, too, which arise from the implementation of this public higher education expansion program in the Recôncavo Baiano region. Finally, I conclude with observations about the cultural diversity and social reality inherent to the context and discuss the conceptual and practical challenges and possibilities arising from that intercultural reality.
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