Your FAQs

Eligibility

  • Is it only for US students?
  • I’m under 18, can I still apply?
  • I’m in college or older, can I apply?
  • Do I need to know the language before I go?

Admissions

  • How much does this cost?
  • Do you have financial aid or scholarships?
  • How does the application process work?
  • How soon do I hear back after applying?
  • Do you look at GPAs or test scores?
  • How selective is this?

Experience

  • How long is the experience?
  • What's a typical day like?
  • Can I pick my country?
  • Can I pick my apprenticeship?
  • How much will I see other Fellows?
  • How safe is this experience?
  • How are the host families selected?

College

  • What about college?
  • When should I apply to college?
  • Do you provide support for applying to colleges?
  • Do you have college partnerships?

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Eligibility

Is it only for US students?

Right now Global Citizen Year primarily serves US students and students from the United World Colleges (UWC), a network of international high schools. Students who are not from the US and are not from a UWC school can apply – but we reserve most of our financial aid for our US and UWC students.

I’m under 18, can I still apply?

Yes! Students who are under 18 years old can apply. As long as you’ve completed high school, and haven’t yet started college you are eligible for a Global Citizen Year.

You can start your application during your junior or senior year of high school.

I’m in college or older, can I apply?

If you’ve already started on campus or graduated from college, you are not eligible for Global Citizen Year. The experience is designed for students who are in the unique transition period between high school and college. City Year, Americorps, or the Peace Corps could be a good fit for you instead.

Do I need to know the language before I go?

No prior language skills needed! Over the summer we'll set you up with Rosetta Stone to develop basic language skills. During your first 2 months abroad, you'll have intensive language learning, followed by weekly tutoring for the rest of your stay.

Admissions

How much does this cost?

Our full tuition is $32,500, and we offer both merit and need-based scholarships. We are committed to making our program accessible, and historically, about 30% of our class have received a FULL scholarship, and an additional 50% have received a partial scholarship.

Do you have financial aid or scholarships?

Yes! We offer both merit and need-based scholarships. We are committed to making our program accessible. Historically, about 30% of our class has received a FULL scholarship, and an additional 50% have received a partial scholarship.

How does the application process work?

Please visit our Admissions page for an overview of the admissions process. For more details, you can email our admissions team at admissions@globalcitizenyear.org.

How soon do I hear back after applying?

Within 2-4 days of receiving your online application, we will let you know whether or not you've been selected for an interview. Within 2-3 weeks of completing your interview, you'll receive the admissions decision.

Do you look at GPAs or test scores?

No, we don't require transcripts or test scores. We want to get to know you as a whole person, not a number.

How selective is this?

We have a selective admissions process. Of all the great students that apply to be part of our program, 25% become Global Citizen Year Fellows. We are heartened, encouraged and excited to see the growing interest in taking a gap year. Every year since our founding we have grown our Fellow cohort and we will continue to work to meet increasing demand.

Experience

How long is the experience?

All of our gap years are 8 months long, from August – April. We believe in the importance of deep cultural immersion to truly experience and understand the local context, form deep relationships, and learn the language. We do not offer shorter programs.

What's a typical day like?

You’ll be living with a host family, participating in your community through an apprenticeship (similar to an internship), attending weekly language classes with the other Fellows, and getting comfortable in a new country and culture. You’ll also attend regular trainings throughout the year, which are a great opportunity for you and your fellow Fellows to have fun, connect with each other, and process your experiences together. To get a true taste of what life is like while you’re abroad, check out our Day in the Life pages for Brazil, Ecuador, India or Senegal — featuring the daily experiences of our Fellows.

Can I pick my country?

Yes! In the application you'll rank your country choices. In almost all cases we can match students with their top country.

Can I pick my apprenticeship?

In the summer leading up to your Global Citizen Year, you'll use our online site-matching tool to explore the different apprenticeships and homestays in your host country. After considering what's most important to you (rural or urban? big or small family? education or environmental apprenticeship?), you'll submit your top 5 choices. Our team will use those preferences to place you with an apprenticeship and host family.

How much will I see other Fellows?

You'll definitely have time to be with other Fellows - the cohort is an important part of the experience. Your homestay and apprenticeship are largely independent, but you will see other Fellows regularly at language lessons and trainings. Many Fellows choose to meet up during their free time and visit different parts of the country together.

How safe is this experience?

The health and safety of our Fellows is a top priority for our staff and organization, and we have a team in the US exclusively dedicated to this. While there is some risk involved with traveling abroad, just like there is risk involved with being on a college campus, we have many systems and structures in place to support the safety of our Fellows. Throughout the year we train our Fellows on how to minimize their risk, make smart decisions, and stay safe. Each Fellow is given a phone that they can use in country to call their Team Leaders in case of emergency, or at any time. We also have emergency hotlines that are staffed 24 hrs a day, seven days a week, in each of our host countries and in the US. All of our Fellows are covered by insurance while they are abroad.

How are the host families selected?

Each host family goes through a rigorous screening process and multiple site visits by our staff before they are selected. We look for families that are eager to be a part of a Fellow’s transformative and immersive experience, and that will provide a safe and welcoming home. All selected families go through a training to help them prepare to host a Fellow. Throughout the year, our staff have regularly scheduled visits to meet with the Fellow and the host family together.

College

What about college?

Most colleges are supportive of gap years - not surprising when studies show that gap students get higher GPAs and are more active on campus. Whether you choose to defer your acceptance or to re-apply, our Director of College Admissions Guidance will support you through the process. We're also proud to offer several college partnerships.

When should I apply to college?

Most Fellows choose to apply to college during their senior year.

Once you're accepted, almost all colleges have a straightforward process to request a one-year deferral to take a gap year.

If you do not get admitted to the college of your choice, Global Citizen Year will support you in applying during your gap year. Past Fellows can attest that a year abroad gives you great perspective on what you want out of college, and will only strengthen your application.

Do you provide support for applying to colleges?

Yes! Our Director of College Admissions Guidance supports Fellows who choose to apply to colleges during their Global Citizen Year. This service is available to students who are applying to college the first time, or students who may have applied during senior year, but have not accepted/deferred anywhere.

Do you have college partnerships?

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