Global and Area Studies Centers: Seven Hubs for International Education
UNC Global Affairs
Learning Through Languages High School Research Symposium organized by areas studies centers at UNC-Chapel Hill.
The FedEx Global Education Center is home to seven global and area studies centers that provide the UNC-Chapel Hill community with essential services and resources for instruction, learning and research related to global issues, world regions and modern foreign languages. The centers are critical to deepening and expanding the campus and community’s understanding of the world and the importance of international education.
Carolina is one of few universities to have five of its centers recognized as National Resource Centers by the U.S. Department of Education, a distinction that places UNC-Chapel Hill first among universities in the Southeast U.S. and sixth among public universities. Carolina is also home to one of 11 European Union Jean Monnet Centers of Excellence in the United States.
In 2018, Carolina was awarded approximately $8.6 million in competitive federal Title VI funding by the U.S. Department of Education: $4 million for National Resource Centers and $4.6 million for Foreign Language and Area Studies scholarships, which support academic-year and summer fellowships for students taking less commonly taught language and area studies coursework. The centers collaborate on the Languages Across the Curriculum (LAC) program, which offers content courses in various foreign languages.
“Each global and area study center builds campus expertise through international language training and advanced scholarship,” said Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, senior associate dean for social sciences and global programs. “The faculty and staff affiliated with these centers connect deep knowledge of history, politics and culture with urgent global issues of our times.”
Annually, the centers host hundreds of conferences, lectures, films, exhibitions and other programs. Two offer interdisciplinary undergraduate degrees — Latin American Studies, Contemporary European Studies — and the TransAtlantic Masters Program. All centers engage in outreach to North Carolina schools and community colleges, offering resources and programs for K-12 teachers and students who wish to teach and learn about the world. One signature program is Learning Through Languages, an annual research symposium hosted at the FedEx Global Education Center. It gives North Carolina high school language students the opportunity to present on global research topics in their language of study.
The centers also collaborate on Global Career Night, an annual panel discussion featuring UNC-Chapel Hill alumni working in globally focused careers followed by a networking opportunity with field experts.
The centers include the African Studies Center; Carolina Asia Center; Center for European Studies; Center for Global Initiatives; Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies; Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies; and Institute for the Study of the Americas. The Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies and the Institute for the Study of the Americas work with partner centers at Duke University. All of the centers span the University: the area studies centers are a part of the College of Arts & Sciences; the Center for Global Initiatives is part of the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs.