- What are the eligibility criteria?
- 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?
- What is Global Citizen Year’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access?
- How much does the fellowship cost?
- Do you have financial aid or scholarships?
- When are the application deadlines?
- 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?
- How is Global Citizen Year monitoring and responding to COVID-19?
- How long is the experience?
- Do you offer shorter programs?
- 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?
- What about college?
- When should I apply to college?
- Do you provide support for applying to colleges?
- Does Global Citizen Year partner with any colleges?
What are the eligibility criteria?
Global Citizen Year Fellowship is for students who have graduated high school but not yet started college. International students are welcome to apply, but should know our financial aid is primarily reserved for US students and graduates of the UWC network of international high schools.
All applicants must choose to participate: mandates by parents, court, or otherwise are not allowed. Global Citizen Year does not pay commissions for any US referrals to their gap year program. All applicants must agree to follow the Global Citizen Year Fellowship Policy Handbook.
The Eligibility Criteria outline the requirements for Fellows to be reliable, fully committed, and capable of working hard to achieve the program goals. These requirements are meant to identify the basic and fundamental elements of participation that are integrally tied to program and risk management considerations.
If you have questions or concerns about your ability to meet the criteria, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is it only for US students?
Right now the Fellowship 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. If you’re an international student, consider applying for Global Citizen Year Academy which has financial aid available to students from all countries.
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 the Fellowship.
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 the Fellowship. The experience is designed for students who are in the unique transition period between high school and college. Consider applying for Global Citizen Year Academy which accepts students worldwide post-high school to 21.
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 6 weeks abroad, you’ll have intensive language learning, followed by weekly tutoring for the rest of your stay.
What is Global Citizen Year’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access?
Throughout our organization’s history we have sought to prioritize a comprehensive, persistent, and dynamic commitment to DEIA work. In our program we are committed to providing students access to our programming regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, race, ethnicity, native language, disability, national origin, socioeconomic status, physical appearance, or religion.
How much does the fellowship 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 gap year scholarship, and an additional 50% have received partial gap year scholarships. Visit our Tuition & Financial Aid page for more information about merit scholarship opportunities and what is included in tuition.
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.
When are the application deadlines?
Fellowship Admissions are currently postponed due to COVID-19. We will make an announcement when the application re-opens.
How does the application process work?
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?
We do not require test scores or transcripts. We do look at GPAs, however Global Citizen Year does not have a minimum GPA requirement and your GPA has very little influence on your application. We collect this information primarily for research purposes and college counseling.
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.
How is Global Citizen Year monitoring and responding to COVID-19?
Global Citizen Year remains deeply concerned about the global spread of COVID-19. Since January 2019 we have been closely monitoring the spread and impact of the virus on travel restrictions, and many other implications for our community. We are in close consultation with international health and pandemics experts, as well as monitoring guidance from the CDC and the WHO.
We are excited to bring back our in-person immersion experience in early 2023. We will open the application in Fall 2022 with only a limited number of spots.
How long is the experience?
The Fellowship is an 8 months long immersion, 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.
Do you offer shorter programs?
If you are interested in a shorter program that can be done independently, from anywhere in the world, check out Global Citizen Year Academy! The Academy is a semester-long leadership experiences (delivered virtually) that brings together young changemakers from across the world.
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 Day in the Life stories for Brazil, Ecuador, or India — 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 are always risks involved with traveling abroad; we have many policies in place intended to support our Fellows and we discuss how to minimize those risks to make informed decisions whenever possible with our program country staff and partners. Each Fellow is given a SIM card with the shared expectation they can call the Global Citizen Year Emergency Hotline 24 hours a day, and their Team Leader will also be able contact them in the event of an emergency. All Fellows are also 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.
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 to college 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.
Does Global Citizen Year partner with any colleges?
Yes! Global Citizen Year works directly with the following colleges and universities. For more details about the benefits included in each college partnership, visit our Partners & Supporters page.
- Allegheny College
- American University
- Bowdoin College
- Case Western Reserve University
- Claremont McKenna College
- Colby College
- Colorado College
- Denison University
- Duke University
- Lafayettte College
- Mount Holyoke College
- Quest University
- Smith College
- Tufts University
- UNC Chapel Hill
- University of Chicago
- University of Notre Dame
- Whitman College
For more information visit our page: What About College?