At a Glance


November 13, 2017 11:59 pm EDT

Students with limited travel experience who demonstrate financial need

Provides funding for students to participate in an interactive, five-day, faculty-led trip to Puerto Rico

Brandy Arellano

ID# 10028 | Last Updated: Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Part of the 2017 winter cohort on the beach after learning how to harvest coconuts.

The Global Take Off: Puerto Rico program provides funding for students to participate in an interactive, five-day, faculty-led trip to Puerto Rico after final exams are over in May. It is part of the Center for Global Initiatives’ Opening Access efforts to significantly increase the number of traditionally underrepresented students who have access to global opportunities. This effort opens access to students who face financial, cultural, and institutional barriers including transfer students, first-generation college students, student-athletes, and others. In collaboration with the Department of Athletics, this program includes the following components:

  • Fully funded trip to Puerto Rico to participate in an interactive educational experience, including discussions with Puerto Rican students and community members and tours of local sites and community organizations
  • Collaborative learning with both UNC and University of Puerto Rico faculty and staff
  • Career and personal development and networking opportunities

Students selected for the Global Take Off: Puerto Rico Summer cohort will meet in spring 2018 for pre-departure orientation sessions and in fall 2018 for post-trip reflection sessions. The actual trip to Puerto Rico will be from May 9 – May 15, 2018.

Is this program right for me?

Aligned with 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.

Applicants must:

  1. Have limited or no global travel experience
  2. Demonstrate financial need through one of the following:
    • Pell Grant eligibility as determined by your FAFSA
    • An international student financial aid worksheet that demonstrates need
    • A narrative statement, if the other two options do not apply, that discusses need
  3. Be returning to UNC as a student in the fall semester of 2018

We have a preference for applications from students who are graduating in December 2018 or May 2019.

What are the benefits?

Students will travel to Puerto Rico after final exams are finished in May of 2018. The trip will be led by Brandy Arellano, Program Manager at the Center for Global Initiatives, and Dr. Roberto Aponte, a lecturer in the UNC Exercise and Sport Science department since 1994 and an Adapted Physical Education Specialist at Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools. Dr. Aponte is a native Puerto Rican who attended and taught at the University of Puerto Rico Cayey and Bayamón campuses, respectively. The program will include a combination of instructional and experiential opportunities as an introduction to Puerto Rican culture, politics, and race relations, and relate these broad topics to our theme of identity.

How do I apply and what is included in the application?

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

  • Application form, including name and contact information
  • Five short answer questions
  • Supporting financial documentation (if required)
  • List of past global travel experience (if any)
  • One reference
  • UNC Honor Pledge

How are applicants evaluated?

Applications are evaluated by UNC faculty and staff review committees who will consider the following:

Financial Need

  • Does the applicant demonstrate financial need based on their FAFSA through the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid or a written statement?

Diversity of Background, Discipline & Perspective

  • Does the candidate bring personal experiences, perspectives and/or background to the opportunity that help the group represent UNC’s diverse population?
  • How likely is the experience to impact a wide audience (other UNC students, local community, family) once the applicant returns?

Personal Impact

  • Would participation in the Global Take Off: Puerto Rico program allow the applicant to gain new, relevant global experience the applicant wouldn’t otherwise have?
  • Will the proposed opportunity contribute deeply to the applicant’s personal growth?

Prior Global Experience

  • How much prior global experience has the applicant already had?

What are the program requirements?

If selected for participation, all awardees must:

  • Attend two pre-departure orientation sessions (during the spring semester)
  • Attend two post-departure reflection sessions (during the fall semester)
  • Attend GO! Global Orientation on Culture + Ethics (April 14, 2018)
  • Complete an online survey before and after the trip
  • Present at one of the following:
    • The Center for Global Initiatives’ Global Projects Showcase (three offered per semester)
    • UNC Development event
    • Other approved speaking engagement

Related Information Sessions & Events

Thu 26

Fulbright Info Session

Thursday, April 26, 2018 @ 5:30 pm6:30 pm EDT
301 Pittsboro St.
Jul 15

[DEADLINE] Global Take Off: Puerto Rico

Sunday, July 15, 2018
301 Pittsboro St.
Aug 29

Grant Writing Workshop

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 @ 6:00 pm7:00 pm EDT
203 South Road
Sep 30

[DEADLINE] Passport to Go!

Sunday, September 30, 2018
301 Pittsboro St.
Oct 24

Grant Writing Workshop

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 @ 6:00 pm7:00 pm EDT
203 South Road
Jan 16

Grant Writing Workshop

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 @ 6:00 pm7:00 pm EST
203 South Road