Given current projections for COVID-19, Global Citizen Year has made the extremely difficult decision to suspend our 2020-2021 Global Citizen Year Fellowship. Read more about it on our website. Please know, we’re more committed than ever to our mission and determined to re-launch the Global Citizen Year Fellowship in 2021.
Embark on a journey of cross-cultural immersion, meaningful internships and world-class training. Each year, we recruit and train a diverse corps of the brightest high school graduates and support them through a transformative gap year after high school. Through intensive training and immersion in communities across Africa, Latin America, and Asia our Fellows contribute to local efforts in education, environmental conservation, public health, agriculture, and social enterprise. At Global Citizen Year, we give emerging leaders the experience to solve real problems, the perspective to see new opportunities and the network to make change happen.
Homestay: You’ll get to know and participate in the culture at an intimate level by being a part of your host family’s daily life. Homestays range from urban to very rural, and families come from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. Host families are carefully selected and trained by Global Citizen Year staff according to health, safety, and cultural criteria. Each Fellow is matched one-to-one with a host-family to ensure a truly immersive experience.
Apprenticeship: Learn and contribute at a local project or organization. Work alongside members of your community on projects that really matter. Gain satisfying work experience in fields like environmental conservation, education, public health, agriculture, or social enterprise. Your apprenticeship is just the starting point of your community engagement; join a local sports team, build a community garden, or learn traditional dance. You’ll have the time and independence to shape your experience, pursue your passions, and discover new ones.
Language: Become fluent in Spanish, French, Portuguese or Hindi. Full immersion, tutoring and online training will accelerate your learning far beyond any campus classroom could. You’ll become fluent enough to confidently travel the country on your own and skip ahead in college language courses.
Lifelong Network: Share this gap year experience with extraordinary Fellows from around the globe. You'll also have access to our network of over 500 alumni who are making a difference at over 200 colleges and in careers worldwide. Launch your future knowing this crew will be your network for life.
Maximize College: After your bridge year, you’ll start college with the benefit of real-world experience, a global perspective, and a clear sense of purpose. Arrive on campus knowing who you are, why you’re there, and what you’re capable of.
7 Participant ReviewsWrite a Review
It would be an understatement to say that Global Citizen Year changed my life. I lived in Senegal from 2012-2013 and lived in a coastal town working in a health clinic. My experience broadened my perspective of the world and changed who I am as an individual. Although this program provides multiple outlets to experience culture, help a community, and empower individuals, the most impactful thing it did for me was to teach me a how to know myself. In a nutshell, I would describe Global Citizen Year as, "safely drowning with a life guard on staff." Meaning to say that this program allows you to fail and persevere through difficult journeys while also providing a strong and controlled safety net. If you are serious in wanting to challenge yourself, impact a community, and live in a new culture outside of your own, please consider this program!!!
Global Citizen Year is a progressive organization geared towards equipping high school graduates with an understanding of the world that standardized education does not provide. During my year in Ecuador, I lived with a local family, learned a new language, and grew to understand more about what it means to be of service while maintaing the integrity of the individuals being served. I had the opportunity to consider ideas that I never considered prior to living on a different tier of society and daily confronting the reality of the developing world. My experience abroad has enriched my entire life, my educational direction undoubtedly, but not only that. It has contextualized the lens through which I experience the world, my relationships, and this idea of purpose. I am more intentional in every aspect of my life. I am more gentle, more humble, more empathetic and able to listen, but also intensely driven with the purpose of a vision greater than myself. It was a worthwhile investment.
Global Citizen Year offers a unique, personalized immersion experience to each of it's fellows. As a fellow from the 2014 Ecuador Cohort I spent my year learning about agriculture, teaching children, working in reforestation and with active members of my community. Many of the insights and experiences I've had from this year have really set me far ahead of a lot of my peers who went straight to university. Not only do you have the opportunity to learn a new language, but you can immerse yourself in a culture and bond with a host family. You'd be able to do things this year that practically no one else your age would be able to do. My Global Citizen Year helped me reach my true potential and opened my eyes to a world of possibility and opportunity.
I'm a Global Citizen Year 2014 Alum and I spent my Fellowship in Senegal. Global Citizen Year truly values their fellows-- beginning with 10 days of intense Fall Training ( at The Red Wood Forrest and Stanford University), there is an immediate community created among fellows and staff before saying good-bye and heading off to the nations that we call home for 8 months. Senegal fellows spend about 5 weeks doing In Country Orientation, during which fellows attend language class, learn about the culture, and research different development sectors (environmental, health, education, etc.,). At this time, it is easy to feel homesick but Global Citizen Year's staff works hard to make the adjustment easy-- and there is a really supportive community among the other Americans. My home stay was the perfect match for me. I spent my apprenticeship working at a NGO, a hospital, and an orphanage. My family accepted me as one of their own, and when my American family visited, they accepted them with open arms. During my Global Citizen Year I learned how to speak Wolof (Senegal's most widely spoken local language), I learned how to cook, I learned basic sewing, I learned a lot about my village's health demographics. I made lasting friendships with fellows (some who I only knew during Fall Training and Re-Entry Training). Most importantly to me, I have a family in a different country, I just called them on the phone today and it made my day. I have a better idea of who I am in a culture different from my own. This program was the best decision for myself. I came back self-aware, excited to learn, and bewildered by the possibilities of what college would do for me. I highly recommend this program for anyone who is not sure of what the next step is, who is interested in another culture, who just wants something more. You'll find a next step, learn about this culture, and get so much more! *I recommend checking out Global Citizen Year's website online, and looking up Global Citizen Year's videos on YouTube.
I am so grateful to have been part of Global Citizen Year this past year (2014 Alum). Looking back, I didn’t realize that college wasn’t the “right” next step for me until the end of senior year, and at the time I didn’t really understand why. I decided to participate in Global Citizen Year because it offered amazing financial aid, I wanted “real life experiences” like those the fellows wrote about in their blogs and that AP and IB hadn’t give me, and I wanted the chance to spend the year abroad. Even with my high expectations, the year turned out to be so much more than I hoped. Wonder and curiosity and creativity were re-kindled after so many years of school – I found my passion for international sustainable development, and learned so much besides. I continue to dance salsa, merengue, cumbia, and bachata and cook meals I learned in Ecuador. I was pushed to re-define my understanding of the world. But perhaps most importantly, I now have a “second” family in Ecuador and a group of the most amazing friends. All of this thanks to the framework and curriculum created by Global Citizen Year. Every part of the program has been carefully thought out to maximize learning and growth in the most natural way. Participating in Global Citizen Year has been the best decision of my life so far, and I really recommend applying!
I just wrapped up my journey with Global Citizen Year to Ecuador in April of 2014 and have nothing but good things to say about Global Citizen year! I as well feel super lucky to have gotten to do such an amazing program. I knew I had wanted to take a bridge year and ended up choosing Global Citizen Year because of the carefully balanced curriculum. I liked the idea of having a support system in my team leader and cohort, as well as being completely immersed in my community. After having completed the program, this is still one of the things I am most thankful for. My team leader continues to be one of my greatest mentors in life and I have a feeling my cohort will be some of my life-long friends. My host family treated me as one of their own and I continue to talk to them a couple times a month over the phone. This was one of the most difficult, trying years of my life but also, by far my favorite. I encourage anyone thinking about participating to read fellow blogs and to apply! You won't regret it.
I am an Alum from the 2014 Cohort and during my Global Citizen Year I lived in Senegal in the farthest Southern corner in Kedougou region. I feel so privileged and lucky to have gotten the opportunity to do this program- I was one of the 80% of the applicants that receive some sort of financial aid (don't be too intimidated to apply based on the cost!). When choosing this program, beyond the factor of the financial aid, I loved the combination of the structure and freedom. There is structure through trainings and coaching that allow for reflection and learning to build connections and meaning. The freedom is given in the way that a majority of the program is a seven and a half month homestay experience where you independently get to figure out how you fit into your community and the new culture. Through out the program, I created lasting connections with other Fellows all across the United States, and became a part of a community in which I consider home in Senegal. I learned to speak Pulaar. I gained a burning desire to explore more of the world in similar in-depth ways and the confidence that I can! I received so much from this program that I don't believe I could have found anywhere else! Check out the Global Citizen Year webpage and our Fellow blogs to learn more!