Who We Are
Global Leadership and Social Impact (GLSI) is an international education program designed to provide transformative global experiences for students from underrepresented backgrounds. Through a combination of coursework, service learning and internships, students develop cultural fluency and other skills that help them find success at UT and after graduation.
Students travel to Cape Town, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and other locations to participate in internships at firms and NGOs specializing in business, entrepreneurship, health care, education and more. Prior to the trip, students take part in workshops, trainings and academic classes geared toward developing their cultural intelligence and preparing them to engage in a process of personal development over the course of their travels. During the trip, students develop a project that identifies and solves a challenge faced at each workplace, allowing them to return home with a portfolio of work added to their resume.
What We're Fundraising For
Established by Dr. Charles Lu, one of the original founders of GLSI, the Dr. Charles Lu Global Leadership Endowed Excellence Fund will remove financial barriers for students seeking to broaden their horizons through international academic and professional experiences. Dr. Lu’s endowment will provide scholarships and cover costs associated with international travel, including passport and immunization fees, for students for generations to come.
Global experiences and international travel are powerful tools for transforming lives. However, due to systemic barriers, these experiences often do not reach students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. GLSI is helping to change the way students of color study abroad at UT by recruiting students of color and first-generation college students, offering study-abroad scholarships and building leadership programs for student success. Students are offered the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica, South Africa, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. However, the cost of international travel is the number one factor that keeps these experiences out of reach for many students. This is an area where your support can make an immediate, life-changing impact.
Nationally, most college students who study abroad are white and come from middle- or high-income families. However, the identities of the students who participate in GLSI show that it is bringing the unique, transformative benefits of international education to students who have historically not had access:
- 442 students studied abroad from 2013 to 2019 through Global Leadership and Social Impact
- 75 students traveled to Abu Dhabi and Dubai 2022
- 41% of students were first-generation college students
- 55% of students identify as Black, 25% as Latino/a
- 95% of GSLI participants have graduated from UT or are on pace to graduate