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2020 high school graduates worldwide


Sept 8 - Dec 18, 2020


Sliding Scale from $500 - $7,500

Application Deadline:

August 11

If the $500 deposit is prohibitive you can request to be considered for a Shawn Mendes Foundation Scholarship with demonstrated need.

Your Education
On Purpose

Join a cohort of determined and hopeful young leaders from around the world and grow together into changemakers who will help address our shared global challenges.

Global Citizen Academy

Join a global network of young changemakers

Global Citizen Academy is for 2020 high school graduates worldwide who don’t want to sit this year out. For the impatient optimists who are ready to get in the arena, this is your opportunity to level up with a diverse, international cohort of young leaders like you.

Build powerful and practical skills for a lifetime of social impact

Dig into the big questions and develop key skills you can’t learn in a traditional classroom alone. You’ll explore topics from effective communication and systems thinking, to mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and ethical decision-making. The experience is designed together with Minerva, a fellow pioneer in educational transformation. Together we're offering a dynamic curriculum taught by outstanding instructors that responds to this historic moment and integrates powerful skill sets and mindsets with a proven approach to leadership training.

  • Know yourself: Develop skills that unlock self-awareness, well-being and a sense of purpose.
  • Understand the world: Analyze local issues and connect them to our global context.
  • Drive impact: Collaborate with peers from around the world to align your values and actions with meaningful impact.

Students have the option of earning 4 college credits for Global Citizen Academy. Accreditation is through Minerva Schools at KGI and requires an additional $300 fee.

See Course Schedule

Shawn Mendes is Global Citizen Year’s Global Youth Chair

Shawn Mendes Global Citizen Academy

“Our world needs young leaders now more than ever. By working with Global Citizen Academy, we can empower many more young people around the world with the resources and tools they need to make an impact.”

- Shawn Mendes

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Get inspired by today’s most impactful leaders

Participate in fireside chats with some of today’s most innovative leaders -- ask them your questions and learn from their insight and expertise! The fireside chats will open with 30 minutes of moderated discussion followed by 30 minutes of Q&A with Academy students. Our growing list of speakers includes:

Dr. Selena Sermeno, Psychologist, Educator & Facilitator

“The world needs models of education where not only experiences but power can be shared. Global Citizen Academy will bring transformational learning to students, not only through content but through the sharing of power.”

Premal Shah, Co-founder Kiva.org

“Global Citizen Academy is so important. We have a chance in this century to address a lot of the problems that began in the last century. It really is up to us. Young people are the future -- and the now -- of social change.”

Wendy Kopp, CEO & Co-Founder, Teach For All

“I’m excited to be part of Global Citizen Academy’s inspiring and important work to foster the leadership of the rising generation who can shape a better future for all of us.”


Make an impact with meaningful volunteer experiences

We’ll help you take what you’re learning and apply it in the real world with meaningful volunteer opportunities. Global Citizen Academy is partnering with impactful organizations across the U.S. and the world. We’ll help you reflect on the issues that call to you (consider climate change, racial justice, global health, voting, and more), and connect you with opportunities to get involved.


Earn College Credit

Concerned with paying college tuition only to take classes virtually from home? Earn college credit through Global Citizen Academy. You’ll learn skills college won’t teach you and be a step ahead before you even step foot on your college campus. You can choose to receive 4 college credits for the Global Systems & Society course. Accreditation is through Minerva Schools at KGI and requires an additional $300 fee.

Connect on the world’s most advanced learning platform

Engage in dynamic courses on Minerva’s cutting-edge Forum learning platform, an immersive virtual environment that allows you to participate fully and establish meaningful relationships with both instructors and peers.

This is not your typical zoom call or boring pre-recorded lecture.

With the Minerva approach, classes are constructed using a range of collaborative activities, including Socratic discussion, live polling, breakout groups, debate, role-playing, and simulations, among others. Instructors guide each session, emphasizing learner participation, group discourse, and project-based applications.

Selective admissions & sliding-scale tuition

A selective admissions process will identify highly motivated students from around the world with a strong commitment to self-reflection, learning, and collaboration.

We are pleased to offer sliding scale tuition for Global Citizen Academy with four tiers ranging from $500 (deposit only) to $7,500 (full tuition). We are committed to making this experience available to the highest potential young leaders we can find, independent of their family’s financial circumstances.

Global Citizen Year x Minerva

Global Citizen Year and Minerva, two pioneers in global education, have teamed up to offer a truly innovative learning experience. Our combined expertise in academic and experiential learning bring leadership training to a new level with the Global Citizen Academy.


How much does this cost?

We are pleased to offer a sliding scale model for Global Citizen Academy with tuition ranging from $500 (deposit only) to $7,500 (full tuition). We ask that you pay at the highest level of the sliding scale that you can afford. This allows others who need to pay less the opportunity to attend.

Can I receive college credit?

Yes. Students have the option of receiving 4 college credits for the Systems & Society course. This course is accredited by Minerva Schools at KGI, which is the school of record for the course. If you opt-in for credit, you will receive a transcript from Minerva Schools at KGI upon completion of the course that lists the course and your letter grade as a course you have taken at Minerva Schools at KGI. Earning transferable credit requires an additional $300 fee.

Please note that Global Citizen Year and Minerva Schools at KGI cannot guarantee that another university will accept transfer credits, so please inquire directly with your school to determine what information they will need to confirm that they can accept credit. Contact Academy@globalcitizenyear.org with further questions about transfer credit. You can find more accreditation information about Minerva Schools at KGI here.

Is this leadership program open to current high school students?

This program is targeted towards students who have graduated high school and who have not yet started college. As such, it is not recommended for those students who are still completing their high school education.

What's the time commitment?

Students should plan for an average weekly commitment of 10-15 hours a week. Each week students will engage in:

  • 5 hours on the Active Learning Forum participating in engaging courses with faculty, peers, and cross-sector leaders from across the globe.
  • 10 hours completing pre-work, reflections, and course-related projects, both individually and as a group.

When does the semester start and end?

The inaugural semester will run from September 8 - December 18, 2020.

What's the Forum learning platform like?

Learn more about Minerva’s cutting-edge Forum learning platform here.

How do I apply?

Click on the APPLY button to submit your online application. It should take about one hour to complete. The final date to apply is August 11th.