The mission of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is to serve North Carolina, the United States and the world through teaching, research and public service. Through these efforts, Carolina connects with the people of our state – and the world – every day in ways that improve lives and build futures. Learn about the University’s global service and engagement programs that affect the well-being of the state and its people.
Apples Global Service-Learning
The APPLES Global Service-Learning Program offers UNC undergraduate students a unique opportunity to work with global and local immigrant communities, while uniting rigorous academic coursework with substantive volunteer service. Students travel to, study in and work with communities where social, economic or political conditions are pushing residents to immigrate to North Carolina and other regions in the United States. During the global experience, students study the language and local culture, live with a local family and engage in service-learning in a community service agency. On returning to Carolina, students enroll in “Connections,” a one-credit reflection seminar that compares the lives of new immigrants in North Carolina to that of their origin countries.
Since its establishment in 1860, the Campus Y has been one of the most vibrant organizations at UNC. With an estimated 2,000 members each year, the Y remains the oldest and largest student service organization on campus, a leader in on-campus dialogue and discussion, and in off-campus service and activism. Over the past two decades, the Y has seen a significant rise in its international outreach, along with an increased emphasis on entrepreneurial and sustainable strategies for community empowerment.
Carolina Center for Public Service
The Carolina Center for Public Service leads the University’s engagement efforts and service to the state of North Carolina and beyond by linking the expertise and energy of faculty, staff and students to the needs of the people.
Center for Global Initiatives
The Center for Global Initiatives brings the world to North Carolina. A core program is Carolina Navigators which enriches the education of students in grades K-16, by engaging them in learning about other cultures, countries and global issues. The program provides educators with cultural resources and interactive classroom presentations by UNC students with international experience. The opportunity to learn through personal interactions helps students achieve a better understanding of foreign cultures and global issues and stimulates greater interest in related classroom studies.
Service Work at the Gillings School of Global Public Health
The Gillings School of Global Public Health focuses on service across communities and offers a number of ways for students, faculty and community partners to get involved and make an impact far beyond the classroom. Student groups through Gillings help students engage in various services, such as providing free health services to communities or planning student-led conferences. Gillings also offers semester-long service-learning courses that focus on special skills and work with community partners to make an impact. The Surge Support program allows faculty and students to respond immediately to public health needs, such as contributing to tobacco-free rule campaigns or helping with the Ebola call center.
Global Area Studies Centers
UNC’s global area studies centers provide services and resources for teaching modern foreign language, research and training in area and international studies and instruction and research related to areas of the world and global issues. Special emphasis is placed on offering resources to educators in North Carolina.
A program of the School of Education, LEARN NC provides lesson plans, professional development and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. The website and its resources are available to parents, teachers and anyone in the community. LEARN NC works with all 115 public school districts across NC, as well as Independent schools and Catholic schools, to improve classroom instruction and teacher professional development.
International Service and Outreach at the School of Dentistry
The UNC School of Dentistry strives to extend globally engaged scholarship, research and service to an international level. This mission provides opportunities for dental students and faculty to travel through student international project trips, school-to-school exchange agreements and faculty global engagements. There are key international projects and programs all over the world, from Malawi to Singapore. These programs allow students to gain first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced across the globe in accessing oral health care. Faculty and students conduct research, provide services and gain more knowledge of the global goals for the field of dentistry through this mission.
World View is an international program for educators that helps K-12 and community college educators respond to the challenges of a smaller, more interconnected world. World View collaborates with other international programs to produce seminars and symposia for educators, provides ongoing support directly to schools and colleges and promotes foreign language training and international travel. World View helps faculty and administrators internationalize their schools and colleges, integrate a global perspective into every part of the curriculum and respond to the challenges of helping immigrant students succeed.