At a Glance

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Sophomores and juniors
US Citizens

Funding for sophomores and juniors to complete a non-credit-bearing global experience abroad during the summer.

Iyman Ahmed

ID# 11242 | Last Updated: Tuesday, September 8, 2020


The Class of 1938 Summer Fellowships are supported by an original endowment from the University’s Class of 1938. Motivated by their experiences as they came of age during World War II, the Class of 1938 endowed this unique fellowship in hopes of increasing global awareness, enhancing the mutual understanding and respect between peoples of varying cultures, and preserving world peace. Their vision was to create a self-perpetuating program housed within their beloved University and, to this end, the program is now administered by an Endowment Committee comprised of past recipients of the fellowship.

The Class of 1938 fellowships are awarded to deserving undergraduate students each spring for self-directed projects requiring travel abroad. This is a flexible fellowship that allows applicants to design projects defined by their passion and vision so long as there is a clear educational objective in mind. The number and amount of the awards are established each spring, but typically fellowships in the amount of $5,000 each are awarded. Fellowship recipients have the opportunity to participate in a network of past recipients as participating members of the Endowment Committee.

Applicant Profile

We seek applications from sophomores and juniors who have a demonstrated financial need to complete the project. Applicants with limited previous global travel and those with varied experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds are welcome to apply and are a good fit for this fellowship. In alignment with the University’s Opening Access effort, we encourage students of all backgrounds and perspectives to apply regardless of their academic discipline, age, disabilities, educational or family background, gender identity, racial or ethnic identity, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.

Applicant must:

  1. Be a U.S. Citizen;
  2. Be a current UNC degree-seeking undergraduate student with at least sophomore status;
  3. Be enrolled at UNC as a degree-seeking student upon return of the completed opportunity for at least one semester;
  4. Not be seeking funding to participate in a traditional study abroad program for academic credit (students can use financial aid or use the Funding Finder to find funding for programs that award academic credit); and
  5. Demonstrate financial need for funding to complete the project .

Types of Opportunities

The opportunity may take a wide variety of forms including: internships, research, service projects, educational group travel or self-designed travel—so long as there is a clear educational objective in mind. This objective can be personal in nature or related to work you are doing or would like to do at the University or to prepare for a career.

Here are a few examples of past projects that have been funded by this fellowship:

  • Nursing major traveled to Honduras to provide culturally relevant healthcare to underserved populations by organizing and implementing a Women’s Health and Family Planning program.
  • An Elementary Education and Biology major traveled to Ghana to teach a class emphasizing sustainable development practices and design curriculum for healthy behavior for a youth center.
  • Biology and Psychology major traveled to Tanzania to work with people affected by HIV/AIDS.
  • Biology and Chemistry major traveled to Uganda to set up a sustainable production facility with Full Belly Project for their Universal Nut Sheller (UNS), to distribute the UNS to farmer cooperatives, and to complete research quantifying the direct and indirect health benefits of UNS.
  • An English major traveled to Granada, Spain to study the work of poet Federico Garcia Lorca influenced by the violence of the Spanish Civil War and to study the early Spanish poetry written in the Arabic-Spanish dialect of Mozarabe
  • A Communication Studies and Cultural Studies major traveled to Ghana and Nigeria to research the political, educational, and religious systems within the two countries.

You can view a comprehensive list of past projects here.

Potential applicants are encouraged to meet with the program manager to determine if their opportunity is eligible for funding.

Application Components

The entire application process is completed online. The application consists of the following:

  • Application form, including major, name and contact information
  • Project summary
  • Short answer questions
  • A timeline and budget (For additional guidance on developing your project budget and timeline, please review our “Travel Application Tips” document.)
  • Supporting financial documentation (if needed)
  • List of past global travel experience
  • Personal or academic reference

Evaluation of Applicants

Class of 1938 Fellowship alumni screen the applications and select the finalists who will interview with the Class of 1938 Selection Committee. Applications are evaluated on the following:

Personal Need

  • Does the applicant require resources (i.e. funds, network, social capital) in order to complete the opportunity? Do they appear to be able to access other resources?
  • Would participation in the global opportunity allow the applicant to gain new, relevant global experience they wouldn’t otherwise have?
  • Will the experience encourage the applicant to explore other global opportunities and with greater depth?

Community Impact & Alignment with Academic & Career Goals

  • How will the proposed opportunity contribute deeply to the applicant’s stated career and academic goals?
  • How likely is the experience to impact a wide group of other UNC students once the applicant returns?

Feasibility & Planning

  • Are the plan, budget and timeline reasonable?
  • Does the applicant have (or explain plans to acquire) the required language, technical and cultural skills necessary to successfully complete of the project?

Diversity of Background, Discipline & Perspective


  • Does the candidate bring an experience, perspective, and/or a background that has traditionally been underrepresented in global experiences?
  • Does the student face barriers to global experiences that are challenging to overcome through traditional global programs and opportunities?

Award Requirements

All recipients must:

  • Be available for an in-person interview with the Class of 1938 Endowment Committee on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at UNC-CH (exact location TBD).
  • Meet with the Endowment Committee at UNC-CH (exact location TBD) during the spring of 2021 to give a brief verbal report of the previous summer’s activities.
  • Use the award during the summer of 2019 for the purpose described in the project proposal.
  • Attend the GO! Global Orientation on Culture and Ethics Pre-Departure Orientation

If you are selected after GO! has occurred, you will be waived from this requirement.

  • Complete pre- and post-surveys to help us identify learning outcomes and ways we can improve our process and support services
  • Submit an entry into the Experience Explorer (coming soon!)


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