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Clearance FAQs

Find answers to the most common Feasibility Stage questions here!

Click on a topic below to jump to the relevant section.

Don’t see your question here? Please reach out to admissions@globalcitizenyear.org

Program Basics

How do I log into my student portal?

You will gain access to your student portal after being accepted into the Global Citizen Year Take Action Lab. Your login information will be emailed to you in your acceptance email.

What is the time commitment for Take Action Lab?

For the Foundations Course (4 week virtual course): Two 60 minute sessions and two 90 minute sessions every week, from Monday - Thursday. Immersion: 3 months in the country with full time commitment.

Can I participate in Take Action Lab and take college classes or work at the same time?

No, Take Action Lab is a full-time commitment exclusive to enrolling in college classes or other work. Students are expected to fully participate in Take Action Lab. Students should not enroll in any college courses or have other work obligations during the program.

What is the acceptance rate for Global Citizen Year?

We have a selective admissions process and a global applicant pool. However, it is our policy not to share admissions data (except to be transparent about the financial aid and scholarships awarded). If you are looking to highlight the value of the Global Citizen Year experience, we encourage you to emphasize the skills gained through this transformative experience, rather than the acceptance rate.

When does the program start and end?

Take Action Lab is a semester-long program that runs for 4 months. The first month of the program is a virtual learning experience that takes place remotely and prepares you for three months of in-country immersive programming.

  • Spring 2024 Program Dates: February 5 to May 31, 2024
  • Fall 2024 Program Dates: August 12 - December 6, 2024
  • Spring 2025 Program Dates: February 3 - May 30, 2025

Can I switch program terms?

Please contact our admissions team at admissions@globalcitizenyear.org. We will review these requests on a case-by-case basis.

How is the clearance information used?

We use the information from the clearance process to ensure that students can successfully participate in both the virtual and in-person elements of the Take Action Lab.

If I complete all of my clearance requirements am I guaranteed financial aid?

Financial aid is limited and not guaranteed. Each semester, we carefully review all incoming financial aid applications and regularly have more outstanding candidates than aid available.

Who might I hear from on the Admissions Team?

Here are the folks that make up the Admissions Team! You can reach us all of us at admissions@globalcitizenyear.org.

  • Patricia Allen - Director of Enrollment
  • Sahar Thomson - Admissions & Alumni Coordinator
  • Leo Chen - International Recruitment Specialist
  • Rebecca Warren - Senior Manager Enrollment & Student Learning

Financial Aid

Is the financial aid form a CSS or FAFSA profile?

No. We use an internal Global Citizen Year financial aid form that can be completed through the student portal with no fee.

What documents can I upload for my supporting financial aid documentation?

You can upload any documents that prove what you included in your financial aid form for the past fiscal year. This could include tax documents, official proof of income documents, CSS/FAFSA (if you already have it), etc.

What if the financial aid offer I receive is not enough for me to be able to join TAL?

If you receive your financial aid offer and it doesn’t work for your financial situation, reach out to admissions@globalcitizenyear.org and we will work with you to see if we can figure out an alternative financial aid offer that will work for you.

Can I update my information/documents after submitting the forms?

You can only save the Financial Aid Application once. If you have information or documents you would like to add or change after you have saved the Financial Aid Application, please reach out to admissions@globalcitizenyear.org and we will update your application/documents.

How can I be considered for the Global Changemakers Scholarship?

All applicants are automatically considered for the Global Changemaker Scholarship. You do not need to submit any additional materials.

I was nominated by an educator. How will my Nominator Scholarship be included?

Your $500 Nominator Scholarship will automatically be included in your financial aid and/or scholarship offer. There will be detailed information about this in the Welcome Packet.

Can I pay my tuition in installments?

 Yes, tuition can be paid in installments so long as tuition is paid in full by the required deadline. You can reach out to admissions@globalcitizenyear.org to set up a payment plan.

How will I find out about my financial aid?

If you’re selected, we’ll email you an official offer letter welcoming you to Take Action Lab! Your offer letter will include your tuition and financial aid package. Spring 2024 Offer Letter Release Dates

  • First: April 21
  • Priority: June 26
  • Regular: October 26
  • Final: December 1
Fall 2024 Offer Letter Release Dates
  • First: October 26
  • Priority: December 1
  • Regular: May 3
  • Final: June 7
Spring 2025 Offer Letter Release Dates
  • First: May 3
  • Priority: June 7
  • Regular: October 18
  • Final: November 22

Do I have to include my parent/guardian information in the financial aid application?

Yes, we require that students submit their family’s financial information in the financial aid application. If you have an extenuating circumstance please reach out to admissions@globalcitizenyear.org.

What if the tax year is different from the calendar year?

Please submit financial statements from the most recent taxes filed. We understand that different countries can have different tax year timing.

What can financial aid cover?

Financial aid may fully or partially cover

  • Tuition
  • Roundtrip flights to Cape Town, South Africa
  • International travel medical insurance
  • Voice & mobile data
  • Food & groceries
  • Local transportation, including daily commute to apprenticeships

What is not covered by financial aid?

Financial aid does not cover:

  • Vaccinations costs and fees
  • Costs associated with retrieving health history forms or possible supplemental forms (if applicable)
  • Passport & visa fees
  • Laptop computer required for this program

Health Clearance

How does the Health History and Health Clearance work?

All students are required to fill out health history forms and provide vaccination record information during the clearance process. These forms will be made available through a secure form in our student portal. We are dedicated to keeping this information secure and private. If there is any follow-up needed after submitting your records our health team will reach out to you directly.

What vaccinations are required?

  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella)
  • Tetanus
  • Polio
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Varicella
  • Meningococcal
  • Typhoid
  • COVID-19
  • Any applicants residing in, or transiting through, any Yellow Fever endemic areas must have a Yellow Fever vaccination for entry to South Africa. 
  • Students must also receive a Tuberculosis test and/or BCG Vaccination.

What happens if I can’t get my vaccines by the clearance deadline?

Students who do not already have all of their vaccinations need to contact our health team at health@globalcitizenyear.org. If you are unable to get your vaccines by the clearance deadline the health team may be able to give you an extension if you are able to provide them with the exact date and location of where/when you will be receiving your vaccination. These are a case-by-case situations, so clear and quick communication with our health team is necessary.

What if I can’t get the required vaccines in my country?

These vaccines are a requirement for Take Action Lab. If you are unable to receive them, unfortunately you will not be able to participate.

Who can I reach out to with health history form questions?

For any health questions, email health@globalcitizenyear.org.

Does Global Citizen Year offer financial aid to cover health costs?

No, financial aid does not cover any pre-departure health costs.

What is a supplemental health form?

If our health team finds information on your health history forms that requires them to need additional information, they may ask you to fill out a supplemental form to provide them with this information. You can access and complete this form on your student portal. 

What is a health screening call?

If our health team needs more information about your health history, they may reach out to schedule a call with you. This is not an interview for the admissions process. The health screening call is a way for our health team to speak directly with you to ensure that they can make an accurate assessment for your medical clearance.


When do I need to have my valid passport ready?

Passports are required for travel booking and visa applications. For the Spring 2024 semester students should have their passports by December 21, 2023.

When does my passport need to be valid until?

For South Africa, we recommend that your passport be valid at 6 months past your planned departure date. 

    • For Spring 2024: Your passport should be valid through at least December 6, 2024.

What is considered to be a “successful” passport upload?

A successful passport upload is one that shows a clear and entire image of your valid passport. We will compare the information you entered to the image of your passport. We will check that the information matches for the country of issuance, your birthdate, your passport number, and your name. The passport also be valid through the dates listed above.

How do I show proof that I have applied for my passport?

The proof you upload may look different depending on the passport process in your country. Your upload should show that you have a set date and time for obtaining your passport, or be a confirmation of an application for a passport, or provide us with clear information about when/how you will be obtaining your passport. 

Does Global Citizen Year offer financial aid to cover passport costs?

No, Global Citizen Year does not cover passport or visa fees. 

What if I am a dual citizen and have multiple passports, which should I use?

You should upload the passport you intend to use to enter South Africa.

How do I request supporting documents that can help me apply for my passport?

If you need supporting documents as part of your passport application, please email admissions@globalcitizenyear.org with information on what type of document you need from us and what information must be provided.


My parent/guardian hasn’t received the DocuSign. How do I send it to them?

Before the Docusign is sent to your parent/guardian, you first need to sign the Docusign sent to your own email. Only after you, the student, have signed the Docusign, will it then be sent automatically to your parent/guardian to sign next.   If you have already signed your Docusign and your parent/guardian still has not received it, please email admissions@globalcitizenyear.org for support. In most cases it is simply an error with the email address on file for the parent/guardian.

Are there any program-related costs that are not included in my tuition balance/deposit?

We do not believe in hidden fees and strive to be transparent about program costs. The only required payment is your tuition/deposit. For more details, please review this full breakdown of program costs, including estimated out of pocket expenses.

When do I have to pay my remaining tuition balance by?

For the Spring 2024 program term full payment is due by January 29, 2024

Is the deposit refundable?

No, the deposit is not refundable.

If I need to get a visa to travel, how do I apply for one?

For students who will need visas to travel, the Programs team will offer guidance on how to put together the proper documentation and submit your visa application.

Will I definitely receive a visa if I enroll in TAL?

Global Citizen Year cannot guarantee that the embassy will grant you a visa. For that reason we encourage you to adhere to submit all your visa application exactly as recommended and to adhere to all deadlines.

Dates & Deadlines

How long do I have to complete my clearance steps?

You will have one week to submit your clearance materials. 

  • Our team will be automatically notified when you complete all the requirements. If you successfully complete and meet the clearance requirements you will be notified by our team that we received your clearance requirements and no further action will be needed at that time.  
  • If for any reason you did not meet the clearance requirements on your first submission, we will reach out to you directly. Some clearance requirements may take back and forth communication with our team to complete. If follow up is required, we will let you know your necessary final deadline for submission.

How long do I have to complete the Welcome Packet and enroll?

After receiving an enrollment Welcome Packet, you have one week to complete and sign the Welcome Packet. If additional time is needed, please reach out to admissions@globalcitzienyear.org as soon as possible.