Preparing students to build a better tomorrow
How do I know this is a credible program?
Since 2010, Global Citizen Year has led immersive learning programs for 2000+ students from around the world.
We’ve been vetted and accredited by the strictest standards of the Gap Year Association, which indicates that families can count on the highest caliber of field leadership, the best degree of office support, and the highest standards of safety.
We partner with an external research group at Harvard Business School’s Human Flourishing Program to understand how our programs impact the lives of our graduates.
We’ve welcomed influential speakers including Melinda Gates, Seth Godin, Shawn Mendes, and Wes Moore. And in 2021, we received a $12 million gift from MacKenzie Scott.
What is the curriculum design? What are the learning outcomes?
The curriculum design is grounded in human-centered design principles that collectively push students out of their comfort zone and position them in a learning posture. Specifically, the curriculum design prioritizes:
- Meaning Making: Learning as an iterative process
- Reflection: Reflection on action for action
- Experience: Learning by doing
- Collaboration: Learning in community
From our online Foundations course prior to departure, to our in-country workshops and guest speakers, the program is designed to foster the following learning outcomes in our students:
- Self Awareness
- Sense of Purpose
- Global Perspective Taking
“Because of Take Action Lab, I actually know how I want to use college and my career to create social impact. I feel more empowered, like I can do anything. I can create change because I have a community of other young people who will change the world in their own ways, in their own countries.”
KARINE S. | BRAZIL
How does nominating a student work?
1. Fill out the Nomination Form. It just takes 2 minutes!
2. We’ll follow up with your student to share more information about Take Action Lab and help them determine if it’s a good fit for them. The nomination is non-binding, and it’s completely up to the student to choose whether to apply and whether to enroll.
3. If your student joins the program, your nomination will award them a $500 merit scholarship!
What makes a student a great fit for this program?
- 17 – 21 years old
- High school graduate (by start of program)
- We’re proud to welcome applicants from around the world!
A strong applicant will be…
- Curious and self-reflective. They want to explore both the world and their own identity and purpose.
- Looking to connect with a diverse community of young people who share their commitment to building a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.
- Aware of global challenges and eager to get real-world experience contributing to on-the-ground solutions.
- Ready to approach living abroad with humility and curiosity. They know they’re there to learn and work alongside local changemakers, not to be a foreign savior.
What’s the cost? Are there scholarships?
Tuition for Take Action Lab is $21,000 USD.
As part of our commitment to advancing equity and opportunity for all, we award both need-based financial aid and merit scholarships. Our financial aid targets individuals without the means to afford Take Action Lab, with a need- and demographically-aware philosophy to ensure that we are giving access to traditionally underserved groups.
For a full breakdown of program costs just click below.
What resources can I share with students and parents?
Here’s a quick blurb and some resources you can easily share with students who might be a good match for Take Action Lab.
I came across an immersive learning program called Take Action Lab that could be a great fit for you! During a semester in South Africa, you can learn how to create a meaningful impact on human rights issues. It could be a great opportunity for you to explore your sense of purpose, the systems you aspire to change, and how to get started. I hope you’ll check it out! Here are some resources to to learn more.
What do students get to do while abroad?
Students are matched with an organization advancing a human rights cause aligned with their interests – this is their apprenticeship. Each week, they spend four days at their apprenticeship, working on projects to advance the mission, learning from an experienced mentor, and getting an on-the-ground understanding of important global issues. Each week also includes cultural activities and excursions to deepen students’ understanding of the country’s historical context and cultural traditions. Read below for examples of students’ apprenticeships.
“Because of Take Action Lab, I’ve got real-world experience working for social justice and human rights, while being guided by people who have already expertise in it.”
MARÍA MACARENA G. | MEXICO
APPRENTICESHIPS IN ACTION
See how past students learned firsthand about different human rights issues and developed skills to help make an impact.
HUMAN MIGRATION | EDUCATION
Rayan taught digital literacy skills to refugees
Rayan apprenticed with a non-profit that supports the large refugee and immigrant population in Cape Town. To improve access to employment, he helped connect clients with job opportunities and develop their CVs. When his supervisors learned about Rayan's interest in computers, they expanded his role to include co-facilitating a digital literacy course.…
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT | HUMAN MIGRATION
Madhav & Anita created radio shows on human rights issues
Madhav and Anita got to learn broadcast journalism from the anti-apartheid activists who founded Africa’s oldest community radio station. With their interviews, they worked to give everyday people a platform to amplify their stories. They each created original shows featuring immigrant stories and youth-to-youth advice on adulting.…
WOMEN’S RIGHTS | EDUCATION | FOOD SECURITY
Kurt & Anushka worked alongside grandmothers impacted by HIV/AIDS
During the HIV/AIDS pandemic many grandmothers became the primary caregivers for their grandchildren. Kurt and Anushka apprenticed at a non-profit that provides a support center for grandmothers and the children. They assisted the grandmas in initiatives including health workshops, a vegetable garden, and finding new markets for their handicrafts. They also helped create the organization's annual report. …
Alex created social videos for a major food charity organization
At his apprenticeship advancing food security, Alex loaded food, served meals, and put his knack for video editing to good use. Equipped with a camera and mic, he captured footage of the organization in action and edited videos to show their story on social media.…
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT | EDUCATION
Hemanth & Anna worked with young people transitioning out of foster care
Hemanth and Anna apprenticed at an organization supporting young people who are aging out of the foster or alternative care. They designed and facilitated sessions on life skills like budgeting and teamwork. They also worked at the policy level, drafting strategies to advocate for legislative change.…
EDUCATION | HUMAN MIGRATION
Karine apprenticed as an assistant teacher
Karine is considering a career in education and was able to get real experience at the front of the classroom at her apprenticeship. She served as an assistant teacher for English and History at a school uniquely designed to support immigrant students from Zimbabwe and neighboring countries.…
Natasha apprenticed at an urban farm
Natasha's apprenticeship gave her a whole new perspective on food security. She worked at a community-based organic farm right at the foot of Table Mountain. She got hands-on experience with everything from planting seeds to harvesting for the local market, and ultimately gained a deep appreciation for where our food comes from.…
Arman supported fundraising efforts at a major food charity organization
As part of the fundraising team at a food security non-profit, Arman helped reach out to individual donors, corporate donors, and apply for grants. He also took the initiative to propose new ideas to innovate on the fundraising team's processes.…
What universities do students attend after this program?
After graduating from Take Action Lab, our students attend a wide variety of prestigious colleges and universities across the US and the world. Some of those institutions include:
- Brown University
- Colby College
- Columbia University
- Dartmouth College
- Duke University
- Georgetown University
- Harvard University
- Oxford University
- Stanford University
- Sussex University
- UC Berkeley
- University of Maastricht
- Vassar College
- Yale University