Global Experiential Learning Fund

Global Experiential Learning Fund
Faculty leader and student smiling with volunteers from Community Crops.
At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, we believe that the global learning right here at home will prepare students to be Future and World Ready.

The Global Experiences Office (formerly the Education Abroad Office) is funding faculty who create or enhance innovative opportunities for students to engage throughout the world without leaving Lincoln. Through these courses and programs, students won't just learn about challenges around the world – they will become involved in the solution.

This initiative is focusing on impactful, experiential courses/programs especially those that align with the university’s Grand Challenges thematic areas. We hope to support the creation of learning opportunities that will deepen student global engagement, helping them understand how to navigate a global marketplace and find opportunities that position them for increased professional success.

In order to assist the long-term sustainability of these courses/programs, support from this fund is available for three years. The first year will assist recipients to develop a new course/program or significantly enhance one that already exists. The second and third years enable faculty and staff to offer their course or program multiple times, improving and sustaining the course so it can become a key part of your unit’s teaching and learning portfolio.

Availability of Funding

Grant recipients will receive 3 years of funding to support their course or program. Faculty and staff applicants should include specific dollar amounts for each year along with a brief description of how the funds will be used in their budget request. 

  • Year 1 funding may include faculty/staff (e.g., summer salary, course buy-out), graduate assistant time, student worker, speaker honoraria, technology, course activities and/or other needs for the development and piloting of the course/program. Funding cannot be used for travel nor faculty overload. Year 1 funding will be up to $8,000*. 
  • Years 2 and 3 funding is limited to costs associated with maintaining the course, such as speaker honoraria and course activities. Funding cannot be used to pay UNL personnel during this period. Years 2 and 3 funding will be up to $3,000 per year*. 

For successful grant applications, funds will be transferred to the recipient’s college business office annually, and they will manage expenditures. Before submitting your budget request, applicants must verify that their intended expenses are consistent with their college's business policies. This is especially important for amounts related to funding for personnel, i.e., course buyout guidelines, GA hiring policies.

Consideration for funding larger projects will be given on a case-by-case basis. Contact GEO director to explore possibilities for larger projects. 

Aims and Expectations for Funding

The overall aim of this initiative is to increase the number of global experiential offerings and the number of students impacted by meaningful international engagement opportunities right here at UNL. Instructors will continue to be in charge of the academic content of their course or program.

We encourage applicants to think outside the box about innovative ways to incorporate global elements both virtually and or in person. A few examples of these activities might include: shopping as a class at a local international market; an interactive project to propose ways to address global food shortage; an internationally collaborative theatrical performance to raise awareness around one of UNL’s Grand Challenges thematic areas; discussions between UNL and international students that lead to shared experiences; spending time with individuals and families from international cultures; visits to a non-governmental organization/NGO, or visits to another organization that supports global populations.

Staff in the Global Experiences Office are available to help applicants brainstorm ways to embed these international experiences into courses. We are also available to assist with program development by helping broker connections with relevant international and/or local partners. 

At the end of each year, grant recipients will be asked to participate in a luncheon to discuss lessons learned and brainstorm better ways to bring global content into the class and onto the campus.

At the end of the funding period, recipients will provide a one-page summary of the experience including lessons learned through the process.

Evaluation Criteria

Successful applications should:

  • Demonstrate the experiential learning characteristics of the course or program by outlining how students will have direct, meaningful interactions with individuals and/or groups from a global culture(s). Examples of these interactions could be peer collaborations, project-based learning, interactive guest lectures, virtual home stays, collaborative assignments, etc.

Preference will be given to proposals that demonstrate:

  • How opportunities help deepen student understanding of one of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Grand Challenges themes. 
  • Focus on building and/or deepening partnerships that can lead to future collaborations with international universities, education abroad organizations, NGOs, etc.
  • Have the potential to be incorporated into your department's regular teaching portfolio, leading to long-term sustainability of the course or program.

Funding Request

Interested faculty/staff are invited to submit:

1) A short statement of interest describing your vision for the course or program that explains fit with the evaluation criteria listed above.

2) A simple budget for all 3 years and a description of how the funds will be used, verified/in alignment with your college’s business office. The letter should indicate that your supervisor is aware of and supports the way you intend to use the funding. For example, if you propose a course buyout, they should confirm with you their support for that buyout.

Applications will be routed to unit leaders and deans who will sign verifying that they support the proposal.  

Priorities will be given to applications submitted by May 31stth for the following academic year.

To submit your application, please click here. Select "Global Experiential Learning Fund" from the drop-down menu. 


Please contact Dr. Cody Hollist, Director of the Global Experiences Office, at or your College’s Global Experiences Coordinator.

* All expenditures must follow University, College, and Department fiscal policies.