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Scroll below for answers to our frequently asked questions. Alternatively, contact us for more information.
Last Updated: August 3, 2021
Do I need previous experience before enrolling?
While some background knowledge is helpful, no experience is needed as long as you are eager to learn. Our pre-program orientation and tutorials will help you prepare for the program.
Do I need to hold an undergraduate degree to be eligible for the program?
No, we require participants to either be enrolled in or have completed an associate or bachelor’s degree. Where applicants don’t meet this criterion, our admissions team will review on a case-by-case basis.
Is there an age limit?
Participants must be over 18 years, but there is no maximum age limit. Ideally, applicants should have earned or be enrolled in a two-year associate or four-year bachelor’s degree. However, if you don’t meet this criterion, our admissions team will review applications on a case-by-case basis.
What criteria do you look for in participants applying to the program?
The program has been designed to specifically cater to a wide range of capabilities and backgrounds. We look for participants who are motivated and determined to give the program their all in order to achieve their career goals.
What is the enrollment process?
Once you complete our application form or call our admissions team, you will have an initial phone interview with an enrollment manager. Applicants who are accepted will then complete an online orientation with a participant support manager to draft an individualized schedule and program plan.
What is the relationship among me as a participant, UNC Charlotte and GVI?
What are the dates for the program?
The online courses begin monthly and international fieldwork weekly. Please visit our program pages for upcoming dates and locations.
Can I keep working or studying while participating in the program?
Our program is designed for both students and working professionals who are interested in pursuing a career in conservation or social development. The part-time schedule allows you to continue studying or working while participating in the online component of the program. The international field trip will require you to set aside two or four weeks to participate.
How long does the program take to complete?
Participants can complete the online component in four, eight or 16 weeks.
Participants can complete the fieldwork component between two or four weeks.
How much time should I expect to dedicate to the program?
The online course takes 80 hours to complete (done in either four-, eight- or 16-week schedules). The field trip takes 160 hours to complete (done in either two- or four-week durations).
Do you provide career planning support?
Yes. We offer career support and coaching, including resume assistance and interview coaching. In addition, we curate the latest job opportunities in global development to assist our participants in finding their next role. Visit our Career Services page to learn more about the support we provide.
Which country can I get a job in post-graduation?
You can apply to any of the jobs listed on our portal, which aggregates over 10,000 openings from around the world. Your choice of fieldwork location doesn’t limit your job prospects. Our programs are designed to equip you with the skills to analyze any context across the globe.
How will earning this certificate benefit my career?
The certificate you earn upon completion of the program is approved by the university and recognizes the skills and competencies you have developed. You can add this recognition to your LinkedIn profile or resume and it will act as further proof of your skills and knowledge to future employers.
Do programs count toward a degree or certificate programs at UNC Charlotte?
While academic credits are not awarded for this program, a certificate is issued from the UNC Charlotte Impact Academy to participants upon successful completion and this serves as proof to future employers that you have acquired education and experience in the discipline.
Can I receive credits for the program?
No, the program is an intensive practical, noncredit employment skills offering. University credits are not awarded for the program.
Do I need my own computer or laptop to participate?
Yes, a reliable laptop and internet connection is required for online courses. Laptops can be Mac OSX 10.10 or newer, or PC Windows 7 or newer; with a minimum 1GB of RAM, resolution of 800×600 and a 2GHz processor.
Can I complete courses at my own pace?
Yes, the program has been designed to be self-paced. You set an individualized schedule at your online orientation with a participant support manager.
Will I be learning with other participants?
Yes, our online courses will have monthly cohort starts. We encourage participants to complete the program in our recommended schedule to maximize the participant experience and interactions with peers.
What is the cost of the program?
The default program costs $11,950. This fee does not include international flights and costs for visas required. Please refer to each of the program pages’ tabs “What’s included” for more details. Scholarships and payment plans are available for those who qualify.
Are student loans available?
Yes, students with citizenship or co-signers in the United States have secured loans in the past for this program. Get in touch to find out more information about what financial aid options may be available to you.
What is the price for shorter/longer duration?
There is an additional fee for taking the online courses in a shorter or longer duration than our recommended program. This is because our program instructors, facilitators and participant support team will be providing additional support to accommodate your schedule.
The price for the international fieldwork two-week duration is the same as the four-week duration. This is because participants will be required to complete additional activities after the international fieldwork and will require extra support from our instructors and participant support team.
Will I have to purchase additional course materials and books?
No, the program fee includes all the required course material and books. Optional recommended reading is at the discretion for each participant to purchase.
Are flights and travel expenses included?
No, the program fee does not include flights, visas and insurance. The fee does include accommodation, meals and in-country fieldwork transport for the duration of the field trip. The only exception is where participants complete the fieldwork component in the United States, where food and accomodation are organized for participants but are not covered in the program fee.
What are my payment options?
You can either pay your tuition fees in full before the program starts, or we have two payment plan options:
- Option 1: Deposit and a two-part payment plan. The first installment is due 30 days before your online course start date and the second installment 90 days before your international fieldwork start date.
- Option 2: Deposit and monthly scheduled payments. Forty percent of the program fee is due 30 days before your online course start date and 60% is due 90 days before your international fieldwork start date.
If you want to find out more about any of these options or you want to know which you qualify for, please get in contact with an enrollment manager.
Can I begin my fieldwork before completing my online courses?
No, you are required to complete the online courses before departure.
Can you book my flights?
No, we recommend consulting the various flight comparison and airline direct web pages online to get the best possible flight price to your chosen program destination.
Do I need medical and travel insurance?
We can’t stress enough how important quality medical insurance is for your fieldwork experience. In fact, fully comprehensive insurance is mandatory for international experiences. Once you are accepted into a UNC Charlotte Impact Academy program, please refer to your field manual on applying for insurance plans offered through providers that work specifically with study abroad students.
Do I need a visa?
You may need a country-specific visa to enter, exit and stay within a given country for a specified period of time. Once you are accepted into a UNC Charlotte Impact Academy program, your field manual will provide you with some general guidelines and tips on when, where and how to apply for your visa in time for your fieldwork abroad.
Will I be met at the airport?
In most cases, we will arrange for a UNC Charlotte Impact Academy representative to meet you at the airport upon your arrival. Please ask your enrollment manager for details about arrival logistics.
How does UNC Charlotte Impact Academy make sure I’m safe while doing fieldwork?
The health and safety of all participants is paramount. The UNC Charlotte Impact Academy has compiled strict systems and procedures, including the presence of long-term staff on the ground who work closely with local partners to ensure they are up to date with local developments. We periodically review risk assessments for each location and project, and have Emergency Action Plans in place for a variety of scenarios. We also have protocols for incident and near miss reporting, and weekly reporting to senior managers to ensure we are always up to date with local and regional developments.
All our participants and staff receive a full orientation, always have permission to decline to participate if they feel unsafe, and have access to a 24-hour emergency support system. This emergency support system includes senior, experienced staff on standby both in country and regionally in case of incident or concern. UNC Charlotte Impact Academy programs also host regular health and safety meetings to review incidents, near misses and concerns, on top of the standard briefings and edit procedures, if necessary.
How will COVID-19 travel restrictions affect my ability to take part in the optional international fieldwork?
Due to COVID-19, travel is not compulsory on the UNC Charlotte program. Should you still wish to travel, with our international standards of health and safety, you can continue to make a positive impact in the world and pursue the causes you’re passionate about. In order to do this, we have put in place new and extensive procedures and protocols that will help us to ensure a safe experience for all and to help reassure our participants about travelling during and after COVID-19.
We continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 travel restrictions and follow updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UK, United States and Australian government travel advice, and local government health advice from our international fieldwork locations. Should we find that the risk severity increases, we will take further action and notify participants.
How can I hire one of your graduates?
If you’re interested in partnering with the UNC Charlotte Impact Academy or accessing our student portal, please fill out this form and a member of our career services team will get in touch with you.
How can I partner with you on fieldwork projects?
If you’re interested in partnering with the UNC Charlotte Impact Academy or accessing our student portal, please fill out this form and a member of our partnerships team will get in touch with you.