In 2016, UGA became the largest public university in the country to make experiential learning a graduation requirement for all undergraduate students.
Since that time, students have fulfilled this requirement by conducting research projects through the Center for Undergraduate Research (CURO), enrolling in service-learning initiatives, participating in internships and studying abroad—all experiences that bring classroom lessons to life.
[CURO projects allow undergraduates, even first-year students, the chance to work and learn with esteemed UGA faculty from across campus, broadening their horizons and exposing them to advanced research. Recent CURO students have worked as research assistants in UGA’s Clinical Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, studied autism in African populations, analyzed Americans’ relationships between financial knowledge and physical well-being, and much more.]
[Service-learning at UGA lets students turn their classroom lessons into real-world solutions for their communities, deepening their academic understanding, fulfilling UGA’s mission to serve and fostering students’ value of community service. Service-learning coursework is available in all of UGA’s schools and colleges, and each year, students volunteer hundreds of thousands of hours in community service through these classes.]
[Internships provide some of the best career preparation of a student’s education, and UGA’s network of partnerships means that our students have the chance to connect with leading organizations in an array of fields, putting Georgia grads several steps ahead of their peers.]
[Little else expands a student’s horizons like studying abroad. Experiencing a new culture while exploring their chosen field leaves an indelible mark on a student, furthering their understanding of their subject, their world and themselves.]
The value of our commitment to experiential learning is evident in our graduates’ success: the percentage of UGA’s most recent graduating class who are employed, continuing their education or not currently seeking employment is 96 percent, beating the national average by 11 percent.
But for students of limited means, these experiences can be just out of reach. An interview suit they don’t have, lab equipment they don’t own, airfare they can’t afford: these things can make the difference between a life-changing experience and a missed opportunity.
It is a priority of the Commit to Georgia Campaign to remove the financial barriers that keep our students from pursuing these unique educational opportunities. Students across campus encounter such roadblocks, but with your support we can eliminate them so that our students are free to dream big, and then dream even bigger.
“When I signed up for the UGA en Buenos Aires program, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. My seven-week experience was filled with history, social awareness, hands-on learning and complete cultural immersion.” –Sehar Ali, Franklin College of Arts & Sciences
“My Disney internship was an invaluable experience, and I know that what I learned there can’t be learned in a classroom. When I went into engineering, I thought it was a self-sufficient major, but I was proven wrong at Disney. My job is collaborative and I really enjoy reaching out and meeting people.” –Avalon Kandrac, College of Engineering
“Not everyone can go outside and walk around in the woods and get paid for it. The scholarships have not only paid for activities, but eased the financial burden placed on me so that it has allowed me to get more involved in school.” –Blake Sherry, Warnell School of Forestry
“People who study abroad, they just can’t stop talking about their experience. It’s something that stays with them their entire lives. And if you talk to someone who didn’t study abroad, frequently they list it as one of the biggest regrets of their college years.” –Yana Cornish, UGA director of education abroad