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In the Photo: Alcyone Magana, Ecuador '15, Watson University


As the global bridge year movement gains momentum, we are proud to have been featured in the following publications as a leader in in the field.

09 Nov 2017 Former Vassar College President on the Benefits of Taking A Gap Year

Episode 17: From Gap Year to Bridge Year Paulina Jedrzejowski was five years old when two airliners slammed into the World Trade Center. She was just a few miles away in Brooklyn and wondered why ashes and bits of paper were floating down from the sky. Despite growing up in an America with a heightened concern for attacks from the outside, Paulina has devoted her young life to helping outsiders. She has lived in several other countries and learned their languages. Hear her story, and the story of a promising trend in...

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The British born essayist, Pico Lyer, once said, “We don’t travel to move, we travel to be moved.” There is a unique power in global experiences that takes us outside our comfort zones and shapes our empathy. Abby Falik is one of those individuals who have discovered this power. Abby is the Founder & CEO of Global Citizen Year, an innovative ‘for-purpose social venture’ on a mission to make it normal for kids to choose a ‘bridge year’ abroad after high school: an experience that builds self-awareness, global skills and grit. Abby is...

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18 Oct 2017 Abby Falik named “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2017″ by Goldman Sachs

  Goldman Sachs is recognizing Global Citizen Year and its CEO and Founder Abby Falik as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs at 2017 Builders + Innovators Summit in Santa Barbara, California. Goldman Sachs selected Abby as one of 100 entrepreneurs from multiple industries to be honored at the two-day event. Global Citizen Year is a non-profit social enterprise on a mission to reinvent the post-high school “gap year” as a launch pad for global leaders. We envision a world where a global “bridge year” before college becomes common expectation...

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27 Sep 2017 AFAR Vanguard 2017: Abby Falik, Founder of Global Citizen Year

By Jenn Flowers 9.27.2017 From the November/December 2017 issue The visionary entrepreneur bridges education and travel for students across the nation. In 2016, former President Obama’s daughter Malia took a year off before starting college. Her decision made headlines—but Abby Falik, the founder and CEO of Global Citizen Year, hopes that someday soon, such a choice would be completely expected. Falik founded Global Citizen Year in 2010 to send high school students to developing countries, including Brazil, Ecuador, India, and Senegal, where they live with host families and apprentice with a wide range of local organizations, from Teach for India, Runa...

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21 Sep 2017 Alumni Spotlight on Grace Mannix: A Bridge to the World

Penn State student has transformative experiences on campus and around the globe By Lauren Ingram - September 21, 2017 UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Grace Mannix, a junior studying recreation, park and tourism management in Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College, spent her summer vacation gathering cold-weather gear and giving herself a crash course in the Russian language. This fall, instead of returning to Penn State’s University Park campus, Mannix boarded a transatlantic flight to Russia, where she’ll spend this fall semester studying abroad in the country’s cultural capital, St. Petersburg. For the 21-year-old globetrotter, it won’t be...

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17 Sep 2017 Taking Charge of My Own Learning

By Shannon Yang “Why are you taking a gap year?” The question would often catch me unprepared, like a storm coming earlier than forecasted. I would often shrug and tell the curious asker that I just needed a little more time, or that I felt burnt out, or that I was young for my grade anyway. Though all of these answers were true, they felt shallow and incomplete and, most importantly, they lacked a sense of direction–a narrative that made my goals clear. So after reflecting on this exact question all summer, I...

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07 Sep 2017 Role Reboot: Finding Purpose In Turbulent Times

By Ann MacDougall and Abby Falik September 7, 2017 Our country can use all hands on deck.  In his spring graduation speech at Harvard, Mark Zuckerberg issued a “generational challenge…not only to create new jobs, but [to] create a renewed sense of purpose.” After Charlottesville, the DACA debate, and growing divides across the country, as well as natural disasters that call for a unified response, we find that call more timely than ever. In our jobs—working with people at the beginning and end of their careers—we see a swelling number of people seeking purpose. Rather than watching in despair they want to pitch...

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