At A Glance

April 17, 2017

First-year students and sophomore transfer students with limited global travel experience

Three-year program that guides and connects students to global experiences and recognizes their global engagement


Dan Thornton

The Global Engagement Scholars Program is for undergraduate students who are committed to acquiring the necessary knowledge, skills and personal initiative to engage responsibly and effectively in a global environment.

Is this program right for me?

This program is designed for current first-year students or sophomore transfer students from diverse backgrounds, disciplines, and perspectives who are traditionally underserved in global education.

We particularly encourage applications from globally interested students who:

  • Have limited or no prior global travel experience
  • Wish to pursue global opportunities but find limitations within their fields of study to do so (including, but not limited to, STEM majors)
  • Have financial circumstances that make it difficult to pursue global opportunities, or those who have encountered other barriers to having an international experience

What are the benefits?

Accepted students will be part of a small cohort of 25-30 and will receive personalized mentoring and guidance during the three (or in some cases, two) years of participation as a Global Engagement Scholar.

In addition to acquiring the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to engage responsibly and effectively in a global environment, scholars will receive the Global Engagement Scholar designation on their transcripts upon program completion.

What are the program requirements?

Once a student is accepted to the program, they must fulfill the following requirements over the course of their undergraduate studies:

  • Complete at least four semesters of a single foreign language that is not one spoken at home (one semester beyond the General Education requirement) or level 3 proficiency according to U.S. Department of State definitions.
  • Complete 12 hours of credits over the course of one’s undergraduate studies that have a specific global theme of the participant’s choosing, pending approval by program administrator. (Most of these credits can be obtained through General College requirements.)
  • Demonstrate global engagement by completing TWO of the following experiences. One experience must be completed abroad (options 1-4):
    1. Internship abroad
    2. Research abroad
    3. Study abroad
    4. Participate in a short term service or immersion trip abroad
    5. Enroll in a sustained service-learning or experiential education program that enables the student to draw from expertise in a world language, culture or issue. Examples include being a Global RA through the Office of Housing and Residential Life, enrolling in a Languages Across the Curriculum (LAC) class, or participating in Carolina Navigators.
  • Participate in a minimum of 60 hours of approved campus events or activities that have a global focus, such as attending special lectures or participating in a globally oriented student or community organization.
  • Complete and publicly present a project or portfolio that is a self-analysis of one’s global engagement while at UNC (similar to a senior reflection). This will be done at an annual workshop for participants where members of the campus community are invited.

How do I apply?

We accept applications from first-year and sophomore transfer students in the spring of each academic year. The entire application process is completed online, and you can view a preview of the full application before you begin.

What does the application include?

Participants will be selected to join the program on the basis of their academic focus, strong interest in global issues, and suitability for the program’s objective, which is to promote global engagement and competence among students whose exposure to these opportunities has been limited.

The application contains the following, and you can also view a preview of the full application:

  • Applicant PID, name and contact information
  • Intended major/minor and current GPA
  • Foreign language proficiency (current degree of proficiency)
  • A list of prior global travel experience, if any
  • A global theme of your own selection
  • Three short responses regarding your interest in global engagement