The Office of International Programs (OIP) strives to strengthen international education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, as well as in the Charlotte community. On campus, OIP seeks to make international understanding and global awareness a fundamental part of the curriculum and an integral part of campus programming. The Office of International Programs serves as a center of leadership and responsibility for the international role and mission of the University. Related units that function together to construct an international perspective in all facets of campus development include OIP Administration (OIPA), the Office of Global Education and Engagement (OGEE), the Office of Education Abroad (OEA), the International Student and Scholar Office (ISSO), the English Language Training Institute (ELTI), and the Office of Intercultural and Educational Experiences (OIEE). In addition, OIP is the campus host for the World Affairs Council of Charlotte.
The Office of International Programs Administration unit (OIPA) includes the Assistant Provost, the Associate Director for International Programs, the finance office, and administrative staff. OIPA provides overall leadership and direction for the Office of International Programs and its constituent units; develops, supports, and organizes a wide range of on- and off-campus programming; supports faculty development through various initiatives; guides the development of institutional agreements and ongoing partnerships with foreign universities; and provides leadership and advice to promote campus internationalization efforts.
Office of Global Education and Engagement
The Office of Global Education and Engagement (OGEE) orchestrates academic and co-curricular opportunities to infuse global and intercultural learning for University constituencies and the Charlotte community. OGEE facilitates student development and learning through its campus international and cultural programming, as well as public service. As such, OGEE implements various internationally-focused campus events including, but not limited to International Education Week, International Women’s Day, UNC Charlotte International Festival, International Speaker Series, and activities associated with the Mu chapter of the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars.
OGEE offerings promote global learning and engagement. For example, OGEE (1) implements the Global Engagement Scholars Program (GESP), designed to strengthen global competencies and understanding; (2) oversees the Global Gateways on-campus internationally themed living community, offering students the opportunity to live together while participating in intentional cultural learning activities; (3) implements country-culture workshops to enhance the community’s global understanding and (4) coordinates the Globally Networked Learning (GNL) program which promotes access to global learning opportunities to all through virtual international collaborative projects in courses that are taught by UNC Charlotte and overseas faculty.
In addition to campus-based programing, OGEE supports OIP’s public service work to initiate and respond to the international needs and interests of the Charlotte community. Current programs include: (1) Great Decision, an annual series of lecture/discussions on key policy issues; (2) Cross-Cultural training, custom-designed workshops that focus on appreciation for other cultures and development of skills in effective communications across cultures; and (3) International Festival, a celebration of cultural diversity and “marketplace” style program featuring international foods, music, and dance from more than 50 countries.
Office of Education Abroad
The Office of Education Abroad (OEA) is committed to providing quality, accessible global learning opportunities on an equitable basis for students to enhance their studies in an experiential environment abroad. Further, OEA supports faculty initiatives to create innovative study abroad, exchange, and virtual international programs to enhance learning and student success.
Students are encouraged to consider the benefits of an academic program through study or experiential learning abroad. In addition to University-administered programs, the OEA has partnerships with program providers enabling students to access additional programs from a worldwide framework of opportunities. Students can chose from year-long, semester, summer, short-term, or virtual programs.
In addition, the OEA provides students the opportunity to implement theoretical knowledge into practice beyond the UNC Charlotte classroom, challenge their assumptions of and learn more about different cultures, and explore their own relationship with the changing global landscape while making progress toward their degree requirements.
International Student and Scholar Office
The International Student and Scholar Office (ISSO) provides support, services, and programs that assist international students and visiting scholars in achieving their educational and personal goals while fostering an appreciation for a culturally diverse learning environment in the larger University community.
UNC Charlotte hosts a vibrant international community. Nearly 1,400 non-immigrant international students representing over 80 countries around the world study at UNC Charlotte. Orientation, cultural programming, individual advising, and assistance with immigration document processing support the international student community. Similarly, international faculty receive one-on-one immigration advising and cultural adjustment support. International and/or U.S. domestic faculty who wish to learn more about immigration matters or working with international students may attend various workshops offered annually. ISSO supports diversity programs to encourage international student and U.S. American student interaction such as the International Coffee Hour, Friendship and Culture Exchange Program, and the Ambassadors Program at UNC Charlotte.
English Language Training Institute
The English Language Training Institute (ELTI) prepares international students for academic study at UNC Charlotte or other U.S. colleges and universities. The ELTI introduces and refines the English language and cultural adaptation skills the students will need to succeed in their academic careers.
The ELTI offers five levels of English language instruction to students from a diverse range of countries each semester. In addition to 20 hours of instruction each week, students have the opportunity to attend UNC Charlotte academic classes, meet with U.S. conversation partners, and tour area schools and sites of cultural interest. On average, students study with ELTI for two semesters.
ELTI also offers an enrichment program for new graduate teaching assistants at UNC Charlotte for whom English is a second language. The course assists with communication skills that are vital in the classroom, such as incorporating functional language cues, using accurate vocabulary, and improving pronunciation.
Office of Intercultural and Educational Experiences
The Office of Intercultural and Educational Experience (OIEE) promotes intercultural awareness, education, and professional training by designing and implementing custom on campus short-term programs for both domestic and international partners. Each program is developed with institutional, regional, and overseas partners as well as University faculty to deliver strong, outcome-focused programs. These highly desirable learning experiences prepare individuals to be successful in an increasingly global society. Program offerings include a wide array of academic and professional development topics, such as leadership, marketing, STEM, and language immersion.
Each experience is custom-designed and infused with experiential learning, cultural, social, and recreational events, as well as opportunities for engagement with the Charlotte and University communities.
World Affairs Council of Charlotte
Founded in 1983, The World Affairs Council of Charlotte (WACC) serves as a community outreach program for the Office of International Programs at UNC Charlotte. By serving as a regional center for education and discussion of world affairs, WACC provides leadership for global thinking, understanding that t a broad perspective is necessary for effective competition in the global economy and for responsible citizenship in an increasingly interdependent political world. The WACC hosts internationally renowned speakers to address topics ranging from economics to globalization to foreign policy.
The WACC also serves as a resource for the local school community providing educational programming and scholarships. Each year, WACC awards nearly $35,000 through their Council Scholars program which provides funds to area K-12 educators to support international education initiatives. In addition, WACC has established close ties with the local school districts, providing learning resources to local K-12 student populations. Since 1996, the organization has directly affected over 700 teachers and more than 75,000 students.