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 Deputy 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.
Direct and indirect OGEE offerings assist academic engagement to promote global learning. For example, OGEE (1) coordinates the International Enrichment Seminar, a first-year student course offered in University College with an emphasis on self and cultural awareness; and (2) implements the Global Certificate Program, designed to strengthen global awareness and understanding; oversees the on-campus international living community, offering upper-class students the opportunity to live together while participating in intentional cultural learning activities.
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 Decisions - an annual series of lecture/discussions during the months of February and March 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 “marketplace” style program featuring international foods, music, and dance from more than 70 countries.
Office of Education Abroad
The Office of Education Abroad (OEA) at UNC Charlotte is committed to providing quality, cost-effective educational opportunities for students to enhance their learning in an experiential environment abroad, and to supporting faculty initiatives in creating such programs to supplement their curriculum objectives.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to have an educational experience through study or experiential learning abroad. OEA develops and maintains exchange relationships in multiple countries throughout the world and is an active member of the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), which allows students access to additional programs from a worldwide framework of exchanges. Students have the option of yearlong, semester, summer, or short-term programs.
In addition, OEA provides students the opportunity to test theoretical principles in real-time, challenge their assumptions about different cultures and explore their own relationship with the global landscape in addition to making progress toward their degree requirements.
International Student and Scholar Office
The International Student and Scholar Office (ISSO) provides information, services, and programs that help international students and visiting scholars achieve their individual educational and personal goals while fostering an appreciation for a culturally diverse learning environment in the larger UNC Charlotte community.
UNC Charlotte hosts a vibrant international community. Nearly 2,000 non-immigrant international students representing over eighty countries around the world study at UNC Charlotte. Orientation, 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 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), established in 1978, prepares international students for academic study at UNC Charlotte or other U.S. colleges and universities by introducing and refining the English language and cultural adaptation skills the students will need to succeed in their academic careers.
ELTI offers six levels of English language instruction to students from a diverse range of countries each semester. In addition to 20-24 hours of class each week, students visit 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 the International Instructor Language Support Program (IILSP), a support program for international faculty and teaching assistants at UNC Charlotte.
Office of Intercultural and Educational Experiences
The Office of Intercultural and Educational Experience (OIEE) develops a wide array of academic and professional development programs in conjunction with an intensive and structured immersion experience in U.S. American culture and language for international groups.
OIEE facilitates specialized faculty development programs and practical training for international interns. Each experience is custom-designed and integrated with experiential learning activities, cultural, social and recreational events, as well as opportunities for interaction with the Charlotte and University communities.
World Affairs Council of Charlotte
Founded in 1983, The World Affairs Council of Charlotte (WACC) serves as an 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, confident that a broad perspective is necessary for effective competition in the global economy and for responsible citizenship in an increasingly interdependent political world. The WACC recruits internationally renowned speakers to address topics ranging from economics to globalization to foreign policy.
The World Affairs Council of Charlotte also serves as a resource for the local school community, providing educational programming and scholarships. Each year, WACC funds nearly $35,000 in grants and programs for teachers and students in support of their commitment to international education initiatives. Since 1996, the organization has directly affected over 700 teachers and more than 75,000 students.