If you go
What: World Change: Empowering Students to Solve Big Problems
When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: ATLAS building, first floor auditorium
semesteratsea.org
The University of Colorado's study abroad office is hosting an event on Thursday that organizers hope will lend a hand to students who want to tackle global issues like poverty, clean water, affordable housing and more.
   
“World Change: Empowering Students to Solve Big Problems” will feature speakers from Boulder's Unreasonable Institute and Semester at Sea. The pilot program was developed by Semester at Sea to provide direction and inspiration to students who want to make the world a better place.
   
Luke Jones, chief of staff for Semester at Sea, said over the past three years, more students in the program expressed interest in acting on social issues — like Daniel Epstein, CU alumni and founder of Unreasonable at Sea, which pairs Boulder's entrepreneurship program, the Unreasonable Institute, with Semester at Sea.
   
“Because we travel to so many countries, our students are confronted with a lot of issues and challenges and are able to track them all over the world,” Jones said.

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“Our students are really impacted by that, and their immediate question is, ‘what can I do to engage that topic and make an impact?'”
   
Jones said many Semester at Sea students launch non-profits to that end, but others are equally passionate and don't know what to do to make a difference. The goal of CU's World Change program is to inspire and support students at the Boulder campus who have a passion for social change but don't know what to do next, he said.
   
The program will begin with a networking session at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the ATLAS building's first floor auditorium, followed by presentations and discussion by entrepreneurs, including Cesar Gonzalez of the Unreasonable Institute.
   
Cloud Baffour, of CU's Study Abroad Office, said the presentation is a unique event for the office, which typically hosts information sessions about programs, countries and study abroad preparation.
   
“We will have brochures and materials out, but we are not pushing study abroad at this event,” Baffour said. “We hope to fill the room with people who are looking to change the world, who have that entrepreneurial spirit and have an idea but need help launching it or finding out what to do next.”
   
The office is extending deadlines for students interested in going on the spring voyage of Semester at Sea.