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“Challenge yourself. Change your world.”

We use these words to describe DukeEngage all the time. “It’s not a trip,” we say. “It’s transformational and life-changing. It’s real-world education.” And for the majority of our participants, it truly is.

But how do you prepare for something life-changing? How do you prepare to change your world? Is that even a good thing? Maybe you like your world just fine. How can you get ready for the unknown of the summer on which you’re about to embark? How do you make sure you’re ready to contribute in meaningful ways to the community where you’ll be spending your summer?

We’ll help you sort through these questions — and many, many more — with structured pre-departure training and lots of links to resources (articles, movies, TED Talks, books, etc.). The more prepared you are, the more you’ll get out of the experience and the more you’ll contribute to your community partner.

Many of the communities with whom we partner have experienced historic marginalization and have identified areas where they welcome your service. We take our partnership with these communities seriously, so we have created many opportunities for you to prepare for your engagement.

All participants attend pre-departure meetings to receive valuable information about the culture and context of their specific DukeEngage Program or working independently. These required meetings are the best way to prepare yourself for your specific program.

You may also complete online modules that will overview ethical issues you might encounter, how to budget your stipend, ways to keep yourself healthy and safe and more.

You will also receive crucial training for your experience by participating in the Fortin Foundation DukeEngage Academy.

With your participation in these opportunities, you uphold the reputation of Duke University and its commitment to respecting our partner communities and the issues they wish to address. When you fail to honor these obligations in a timely manner, you are compromising the integrity of your service to these communities and the relationships and trust we have built with them.

Each of our programs, in the U.S. and abroad, offers unique opportunities to understand social, economic, and cultural differences. Some differences will be more visible and others will be more subtle. These pre-departure training events provide you with the tools to approach your engagement thoughtfully, no matter where you serve.

Registration Days

At DukeEngage Registration, you will turn in all completed paperwork and learn more about your travel arrangements. You may also apply for a visa, if needed, or set up an appointment with Student Health.

Typically, registration is open most of the day for a two-day period, so you can drop by when it fits into your class schedule.

Registration takes place in our offices in Smith Warehouse. You’ll rotate through stations and our staff will assist you with each step to make sure everything is in order.

Registration - Come Prepared!

Please come prepared, as described in your notification packet. As you can imagine, with 400+ students to register, this is a complex task and we appreciate your cooperation.

Pre-departure Meetings

All participants attend required pre-departure meetings to receive valuable information about the culture and context of their specific DukeEngage program or independent project. These meetings are, hands-down, the best way to prepare yourself for your specific program. Note: If you do not attend the meetings, you risk losing your spot in the program.

DukeEngage program leaders facilitate a minimum of two meetings with DukeEngage participants in the semester prior to departure. Meetings are scheduled around participant course schedules so that all students can participate. Group meetings often focus on building group dynamics, teaching technical skills, and discussing the culture and communities of partner sites. Many program leaders incorporate readings, film, and activities. Students are encouraged to bring their program/site-specific questions to these meetings.