The 2016 Global Take Off: Puerto Rico cohort in Río Piedras during their five-day experience exploring Puerto Rico!

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.

An recent article titled “Global Education for All?” written by Dr. Niklaus Steiner, former director of CGI and professor in the political science department, and Dr. Charles Kurzman, co-director of the Center for the Study of the Middle East & Muslim Civilizations and professor sociology at UNC, outlines some of the strategies used at UNC to address students’ needs and ensure all students have access to robust global opportunities.

“Global opportunities” 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 below).

Campus Partners

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

  • Academic Advising
  • Accessibility Resources & Service
  • African Studies Center
  • American Indian Center
  • American Studies
  • Burch Programs & Honors Study Abroad
  • Campus Y
  • Carolina Asia Center
  • Carolina Black Caucus
  • Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations
  • Carolina Center for Public Service
  • 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
  • College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office
  • 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
  • Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise
  • Global Business Center
  • Global Relations Office
  • Graduate and Professional Student Federation
  • Housing & Residential Education
  • Institute for the Study of the Americas
  • Institute of African American Research
  • International Student & Scholar Services
  • Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence
  • LGBTQ Center
  • Music Department
  • LatinxEd
  • New Student & Family Programs
  • Office for Undergraduate Research
  • Office of Distinguished Scholarships and Honors Carolina
  • Office of Institutional Research & Assessment
  • Office of Scholarships & Student Aid
  • Office of Undergraduate Admissions
  • Office of Undergraduate Education
  • Office of the Dean of Students
  • Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
  • School of Social Work
  • Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History
  • Study Abroad Office
  • Undergraduate Retention
  • University Career Services
  • University Development Office
  • William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education
  • Writing and Learning Center