Now as UNC's chancellor, he wants UNC students to have a similar international experience and for the entire University to globalize.
"We have to recognize that part of our goal of being a great university is being a world university," he said. "The greater understanding we have about the rest of the world and the people who make up the rest of the world -- that's going to be an essential quality of an educated person."
University officials said state legislation and a smaller financial base than elite private schools presents Moeser with the challenge of developing a vision of how a public university should interact globally.
"It provides an opportunity for Chancellor Moeser, as a leader of a public university, to develop the methods of how (public universities) can do this," said Raymond Farrow, development director for International Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences. "It's going to be a different path than private universities."
But Director of International Studies James Peacock said the bond between a public university and state can survive in a globalized world.
"Public universities need to respond to its constituents," he said. "The state is moving in a similar (global) manner; therefore, the University can respond to the state and move in a global direction."
The path for UNC so far involves three areas -- increasing the number of undergraduates who study abroad, establishing relationships with international institutions in cooperative research and service, and improving the global atmosphere on campus.
When Moeser traveled to Monterrey Tech in Mexico a month ago, steps were made toward all three areas.
"They would like ultimately 500 Mexican students with an opportunity to come to this campus, with the opportunity for 500 Chapel Hill students to study in Mexico," Moeser said.