U21 Social Entrepreneur Corps programme

Start Date
27 May 2013
End Date
20 July 2013
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Students interested in international development will work directly with Social Entrepreneur Corps field professionals and social entrepreneurs in Guatemala to help establish new and grow existing micro-consignment supported businesses.

The U21 Social Entrepreneur Corps in Guatemala programme builds on our U21 institutions’ expertise in social entrepreneurship, online and blended learning, international collaboration and service learning, as well as on our common commitment to global citizenship. Social entrepreneurship as a topic and Guatemala as a location are already part of individual U21 members’ study abroad programme offerings. The U21 Social Entrepreneur Corps programme is a tailored approach to study abroad that combines global collaboration, new technologies and impact-oriented learning activities.

Students interested in international development will work directly with Social Entrepreneur Corps field professionals and social entrepreneurs in Guatemala to help establish new and grow existing micro-consignment supported businesses. The benefits include exposure to economic theories of social entrepreneurship and active engagement with case study analyses, Spanish language, and Guatemalan, including Mayan culture. The students will experience living with the local families and working intensively with community service organizations, and local social entrepreneurs. Our students will make a tangible difference in people’s lives, while also acquiring the knowledge, skills, and habits necessary to become socially aware, active global citizens. The programme is designed as a short-term summer (June/July) opportunity for U21 students. U21 students are encouraged, but not required to take this programme for academic credit. This programme aims to complement the already existing U21 Summer School and Global Issues Programme.


Programme Structure

This programme can be credit bearing, according to each university’s policy. UConn will assign six credits to this programme.

Pre-arrival: May 27 – June 22, 2013

The students will join a U21 Virtual Global Classroom, where they will learn about Social Entrepreneurship and Guatemalan Politics and Culture. Participation in the pre-arrival phase is compulsory for the continuation of the programme.


In-country Orientation and Foundation Building: June 23 – June 28, 2013

Upon arrival in the country, all students spend the first segment of their time in Xela (Quetzaltenango), participating in orientation sessions, living with local families, studying Spanish intensively, participating in development discussions, visiting nearby development and relief organizations and participating in project content and technical training.


Field Work: June 29 – July 14, 2013

Students travel back to Antigua and visit different satellite work sites, staying with additional local families, in group living settings and/or in hotels. Students will work with Peace Corps Volunteers, local community service organizations, and local businesses.


Conclusion, Delivery and Presentation: July 15 – July 20, 2013

All participants return to the Social Entrepreneur Corps headquarters site in Antigua for the final days of the programme. At this time the projects are completed and presented, Spanish evaluations are conducted and participants stay with the local families one last time.


Assessment Students will have to submit their final reports by August 10, 2013.

Throughout the  programme, students will be invited to contribute to a group blog, sharing and reflecting on their experience. Please read the 2012 programme participants' blog (link below)



Nomination deadline: 1 March 2013

Online application deadline: 1 March 2013

Application review and Skype interviews: 2 - 28 March 2013

Decision date: 29 March 2013

Commitment deadline: 10 April 2013

Online classes start: 27 May 2013

Guatemala arrival: 23 June 2013

Guatemala departure: 20 July 2013

Reports due: 10 August 2013



US$ 2,900 per student, not including airfare, visa costs and health insurance.


Eligibility criteria (administrative evaluation)

  • Undergraduate student currently enrolled in a Universitas 21 member institution
  • Class status: 2nd Year, 3rd Year, 4th+ Year
  • Academic area: any
  • Recommended GPA: 3.4 (U.S.) or equivalent
  • Language: Instruction will be primarily in English; Field work will be primarily in Spanish (intensive instruction on site)
  • Proven interest in international development work
  • Nominated as potential participant by the home university

Selection criteria (evaluated through essay and interview)

  • Strong motivation for participation
  • Proven ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Strong interest in helping to empower others
  • Ability to empathize with individuals of diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds
  • Open-mindedness
  • Flexibility
  • Willingness to work hard under challenging developing country conditions
  • Sense of humour
How To Register

Nomination process

Each U21 institution will be invited to submit one guaranteed and up to four ranked reserve student nominations.


Application procedure

All nominated students (guaranteed and reserves) are invited to complete an online application through the University of Connecticut’s study abroad application system, including a CV and a two-page essay detailing their motivation, experience and expectations in relation with the programme.

Skype interviews will be conducted with selected applicants. Acceptance letters will be sent out on March 29, 2013.

Working language

English. Knowledge of Spanish is helpful, but by no means mandatory.

Raluca Nahorniac