Beginning abroad

For some Tar Heels, the journey to Chapel Hill begins internationally.

Through the Carolina Global Launch program, first-year students have the opportunity to begin their college careers overseas before enrolling at UNC-Chapel Hill the following semester in the spring. The experience allows students to broaden their horizons, become acclimated with college courses while earning credits toward a Carolina degree and get to know their fellow Tar Heels.

Keep scrolling to learn more about the experiences of Global Launch participants this fall in Stirling, Scotland, and Limerick, Ireland, two of the program's five locations.

Stirling, Scotland

One of the perks of Carolina is the campus environment, and the same can be said for the University of Stirling.

Tar Heels whose Global Launch experience takes them to Scotland live and study at a university that’s ranked first in the U.K. and fifth worldwide in campus environment. The campus has its own loch and castle, and beyond campus, students can fully immerse themselves in the Scottish experience with trips to Edinburgh and Hadrian’s Wall among others.

A group of students walking by a castle on the campus of University of Stirling in Scotland.

I wanted to do Carolina Global Launch because I thought it was a great opportunity to open my experiences to new cultures and people, especially going into college.

Vanessa Ibarra

A student, Vanessa Ibarra, checking in for move-in and receiving information and materials at the University of Stirling.

Prized possessions

Whether it be a crown flower lei, a miniature stuffed pumpkin or a journal with family photos, taking a slice of home with them helped Carolina Global Launch students adjust to life in college and on a new continent.

Check out what Tar Heels took with them to Scotland.


An eight-photo collage: A female student smiling for a portrait and wearing a white sweatshirt that reads

Limerick, Ireland

Located in Ireland’s third largest city, the University of Limerick gives Tar Heels the chance to enjoy city life and an idyllic campus. Global Launch students get to utilize the university’s wide variety of courses, covering everything from the humanities to STEM fields.

The University of Limerick also has 25 societies and 45 sports clubs, and students have access to local festivals, music and shopping.

A group of students walking around the University of Limerick in Ireland.

Press the play button above to hear about the student experience in Limerick, Ireland.

I think going to Ireland and having a good group of about 50 students — it’s an easier pool to jump into. We can build closer relationships and spend more time with the same people.

Christian Jahneo

A student, Christian Jahneo, wearing a helmet and playing the Irish sport hurling.