Three students standing, holding Puerto Rico or bust signs
Students Nicole Bowen, Hallie French and Imani Burwell about to depart the UNC FedEx Global Education Center for Global Take Off: Puerto Rico in October 2015

Aligned with UNC’s Academic Plan, which prioritizes “equity and inclusion” and “global engagement,” the Center for Global Initiatives is spearheading a major pan-university effort to significantly increase the number of traditionally underserved students who have access to global opportunities.

This effort opens access to students regardless of their academic discipline, age, disabilities, educational or family background, gender identity, racial or ethnic identity, sexual orientation or socio-economic status.

The effort defines “global opportunities” broadly to encompass:

  • Educational opportunities abroad (including credit-bearing study abroad, experiential learning, internships, research and service-learning).
  • Global opportunities on campus (such as course work in foreign languages and globally-oriented classes in diverse disciplines such as business, education and nursing, as well as events and co-curricular student activities).
  • Globally-oriented service in the local community (for example, engagement with K-12 classrooms or immigrant communities).

Our goal is to raise, for example, the number of math students studying abroad, students with disabilities conducting global internships, males taking more foreign languages, Native Americans earning Fulbright awards, students with significant financial need performing global public service, and first generation college students applying to the Peace Corps.

We are accomplishing this goal by addressing three major barriers to global education:

  • Financial barriers that include not only the lack of funds to take advantage of global opportunities but also the burden of lost wages.
  • Cultural barriers that include lack of awareness of, or interest in, global opportunities and their positive academic and career benefits, and family fears and opposition.
  • Institutional barriers that include curricular constraints, uneven advising and information flows, and unequal preparation.

We are fiercely determined in this work because it will make the students and the university academically better, and because it is ethically the right thing to do: UNC has so many rich global opportunities and they need to be available to all students.

This work is only possible because of the wide range of partners we have across campus (see right bar). To learn more and to join this effort, please contact Niklaus Steiner.

Campus Partners

This effort would not be possible without our growing list of partners:

  • Accessibility Resources & Service
  • African Studies Center
  • American Indian Center
  • Burch Programs & Honors Study Abroad
  • Carolina Asia Center
  • Carolina Black Caucus
  • Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations
  • Carolina Covenant
  • Carolina Latina/o Collaborative
  • Carolina Union
  • Center for European Studies
  • Center for Global Initiatives
  • Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies
  • Center for Student Success and Academic Counseling
  • Curriculum in Global Studies
  • Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies
  • Diplomat in Residence
  • Diversity and Multicultural Affairs
  • Faculty Diversity Initiatives for the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Global Business Center
  • Global Relations Office
  • Housing & Residential Education
  • Institute for the Study of the Americas
  • International Student & Scholar Services
  • Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence
  • LGBTQ Center
  • New Student & Carolina Parent Programs
  • Office for Undergraduate Research
  • Office of Institutional Research & Assessment
  • Office of Scholarships & Student Aid
  • Office of Undergraduate Admissions
  • Office of Undergraduate Education
  • Scholars’ Latino Initiative
  • Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History
  • Study Abroad Office
  • Undergraduate Retention
  • University Career Services
  • William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education