Alumni Comments

  • Alicia Hairston (2019, Spanish major; Political Science major): My participation in the Global Engagement Scholars Program allowed me to broaden my understanding of international issues and experience numerous different cultures. I can wholeheartedly say the GESP helped me gain knowledge of other countries around the world and provided me the opportunity to have important conversations concerning international topics. Events such as the International Festival and the International Lecture Series allowed me the opportunity to meet dozens of international students, attend informative discussions concerning relevant global phenomena, and share a bit of my own culture all at the same time. During my time in the GESP, I studied abroad in Spain and participated in the Global Gateways Program. Both of these experiences completely changed my life and deepened my exposure to international cultures. If you are looking for a program that allows you to learn about the world, grow as an individual, meet lifelong friends, and participate in global engagement events, this program is definitely for you!
  • Thomas McCullough III (2020, Computer Science major):  My position at the Department of Defense is to work on a team to innovate and solve some of our nation's greatest challenges in protecting Americans in cyberspace. To fulfill this mission, it is imperative to have a diverse team who can bring all different thought processes, experiences, and ideas. The agency valued my intercultural experiences and flexibility as it came to travel. Throughout my job searches, Study Abroad (and now GESP) has been a great way to set myself apart in such a competitive industry, and both the federal government and Honeywell (my previous employer) were looking for the exact skills I built as an international student. 
  • My name is Michelle Vaughn (2020, Economics, French, Translation: French to English majors) and I am a U.S. American. I have never left the United States, but I believe I will. In my sophomore year at UNC Charlotte, I knew almost nothing about other cultures. My individualist nature pushed me in the personal pursuit to make a change. I thought, “how can I interact with other cultures while I'm still in the U.S.?” I went online and found the Global Engagement Scholars Program (GESP) in January 2018, and that is where it all began. For me, GESP was simply a launching pad for connecting me with other cultures and cultural programs. I have been amazed at the ripple effect of intercultural opportunities that stemmed from that simple decision to pursue intercultural relationships. As I worked through GESP’s three program components, I found that befriending and learning from international students has been my focus and joy. My advice to anyone considering international engagement while on the UNCC campus would be: Step out of your comfort zone, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to international students on campus. They’re happy to talk to you