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Jiakun Ding, Global Studies and Political Science Vati, Rajasthan, India “Trust”: Rachel Willcuts (Duke ’11) and her Udaipur University translator, Ankita Sukhwal, climbed a hill to get a better view of their host village in rural Rajasthan, April 2011. We spent a total of two weeks living in villages to do qualitative field research on topics from public health to education to rural technology. I was in India on a Duke study abroad program, the Global Semester Abroad, that focuses on global health and development.

When the University launched For All Kind: the Campaign for Carolina last fall — its most ambitious fundraising drive ever with a $4.25 Billion goal — leaders pledged to invest every dollar in advancing the public good.

Thus far, the Campaign for Carolina has raised more than $2 Billion towards that goal and carries great momentum heading into the last few weeks of the fiscal year. Thousands of donors have invested in the best students, world-class faculty, innovation, cutting-edge research and interdisciplinary scholarship. Key signature initiatives hone in on critical areas of growth for Carolina, including Arts Everywhere, the Carolina Edge and the Institute for Convergent Science.

Now, Carolina has announced another Signature Initiative — A Global Mindset — a $300 million campus-wide initiative that will provide global opportunities to fuel our students’ lives, our faculty’s research and our innovative spirit. For Carolina to better serve communities near and far, to be an engine of innovation and an agent of change, to be truly preeminent, we must integrate global thinking into all we do.

Carolina ranks among the top 20 universities nationally for global learning, offering more than 300 programs in 70 countries around the globe with 35 percent or more of the student body traveling abroad before graduation. But roadblocks to international opportunities remain, with access and affordability at the top.

A Global Mindset aims to prepare every graduate for global citizenship and open more avenues to international experiences. A key component of this effort is the Global Guarantee, where every student, regardless of whether they ever leave Chapel Hill, would benefit from international activities and programming to develop critical thinking and analytical skills that better prepare them for rewarding careers in a rapidly changing world. Such global enrichment would provide Carolina students a more relevant and contemporary curriculum, and further efforts to tackle urgent issues both at home and abroad.

Students like Jalyn McNeal ’17, a first-generation college student from Gastonia, North Carolina. He applied to the Center for Global Initiatives’ Passport to Go! program aiming to realize his dream of visiting France. Jalyn not only studied abroad in France, he received two foreign language and area studies fellowships to study Arabic  – one of five languages he studied at UNC – in Jordan and Morocco. After graduating in 2017 with a degree in global studies, minors in French and Arabic, and extensive travel experience, he is now a youth development specialist for the Peace Corps in Morocco.

There has never been more opportunity — or more need — to work across cultures to find solutions to global problems. Carolina aims to ensure that all students receive a substantive combination of knowledge, experiences and skills to be engaged and dynamic global citizens. The University further aims to infuse a global dimension throughout its teaching, research and service activities, to deepen and broaden UNC’s global reach, and to enhance its global visibility. As one of the country’s leading universities for global enrichment, Carolina aspires to provide the most diverse and innovative global learning opportunities anywhere.

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