In summer 2021, the Office of International Programs’ Office of Intercultural and Educational Experiences and Venture Outdoor Leadership (Venture) are partnering to offer a four-day Outdoor Adventure program for UNC Charlotte’s international graduate students. The Office of International Programs and Venture have a long history of collaborating to offer outdoor leadership opportunities to international students and are excited to launch a new program targeted specifically at international graduate students.
Leveraging the educational power of the outdoors and cross-cultural experiences, this program seeks to foster a cooperative learning community and promote intercultural understanding, leadership skills, and connection with nature. The program will provide international graduate students a unique experience with problem-solving as part of a multi-cultural team that will prepare students for the multi-cultural workforce. The program, which will take place August 3rd through 6th, will consist of activities such as hiking, rock climbing, and camping at nearby Crowders Mountain State Park. Participants will also experience Venture’s high and low team challenge courses, located on campus.
These challenging activities, while enjoyable, will push students to learn more about themselves and their peers, as they build trusting connections with one another and discover they are capable of more than they thought. Experienced Venture leaders will instruct the program, manage risk, and facilitate reflection discussions for students to better process their experience.
“I love seeing the transformation of a group from the awkwardness and restraint of their first meeting to their sense of accomplishment and trust after completing an outdoor challenge,” says Brian Holcomb, Venture’s assistant director for trips. “It’s really gratifying to see the growth that groups experience. We often hear individuals comment on the impact of these programs long afterwards.”
“I would encourage any international graduate student who is interested in expanding their comfort zone and engaging in a supportive community to apply,” says Rachel Ladenheim, Assistant Program Director of the Office of Intercultural and Educational Experiences. “This is a great opportunity to meet other international graduate students and begin building your UNC Charlotte community, or, if you’re a returning graduate student, to build upon your existing community.”
All UNC Charlotte international graduate students (incoming or returning) are eligible to participate. The cost to participate in this four-day adventure program is $300 per person, which will include access to all activities, transportation to and from Crowders Mountain, select meals, and all equipment needed to participate in the program activities. Those interested can learn more about the program and apply here. Participants will be accompanied by trained trip leaders and in order to maintain an appropriate and safe ratio of students to staff, registration is limited and spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The registration deadline is June 25, 2021.