• Programs Background

Opening Access and Breaking Barriers to Global Opportunities

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 underrepresented students who have access to global opportunities.  

This effort, which is research-based and data-driven, 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 also defines “global opportunities” broadly to encompass:

1) Educational opportunities abroad (including experiential learning, internships, research, service-learning and study abroad);
2) Global opportunities on campus (such as coursework in foreign languages and in diverse disciplines such as Business, Education, and Nursing; and events such as exhibits, lectures, and research showcases); and
3) Globally-oriented engagement in the community (for example engagement with K-12 classrooms or immigrant populations).

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

UNC will accomplish this goal through programming that addresses 3 major barriers to global education found in the literature: 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 global opportunities and of their positive academic and career benefits, not conceiving of oneself as the kind of person who takes advantage of such opportu­nities, and parental fear and opposition to them; and institutional barriers that include curric­ular constraints, uneven advising and information flows, and unequal preparation.

This effort is significant because it strengthens UNC academically and it ensures equity of resources for all.

CGI is working with a wide range of collaborators from across campus (see right bar) and welcomes input from all interested parties.  To learn more and to join this Initiative, please contact .

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 & Muslim Civilizations
  • Carolina Covenant
  • Carolina Latina/o Collaborative
  • Carolina Union
  • Center for European Studies
  • Center for Slavic, Eurasian & East European Studies
  • Center for Student Success & Academic Counseling
  • Curriculum in Global Studies
  • Diplomat-in-Residence
  • Diversity & Multicultural Affairs
  • Faculty Diversity Initiatives for the College of Arts & 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 & History
  • Study Abroad Office
  • Undergraduate Retention
  • University Career Services
  • William & Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education