Global Citizen Year uses the power of a deep, global immersion to unlock curiosity, conviction and courage in our next generation leaders.

Today’s students are exhausted, stressed, and really “good at playing the school game”.

Preparing young people to thrive and lead in today’s world requires complementing their classroom education and instruction with real-world experience outside of their comfort zone. And that’s what we’re doing at Global Citizen Year.

Each year we recruit a group of exceptional high school graduates with demonstrated leadership potential. We invest in young people who represent our society’s diversity, using the formative transition between high school and college to ignite both their passion and purpose.

For the equivalent of an academic year, Global Citizen Year Fellows live with a family in a community in Africa, Latin America or Asia and work in apprenticeships advancing education, health and sustainability. Our learning model wraps coaching and curriculum around real-world experience. By staying longer and going deeper, our Fellows develop insights that shape their character, guide their higher education, and ultimately prepare them to work toward shared solutions that advance the greater good.

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Join us!

Join our Nominator Program

Join a growing network of over 300 educators across the country who are helping us identify exceptional students for a global gap year abroad.

Becoming a Nominator will give you the opportunity to award $500 merit scholarships to your students by nominating them to apply to become Fellows. By joining, there is no requirement to nominate and we’ll keep you informed about application deadlines, special scholarships and events.

Join our Nominator Program

Already a member of the Global Citizen Year Nominator Program?

Share this opportunity with a student! All nominated students get a $500 merit scholarship. The nomination is completely non-binding - it's completely up to the student whether they choose to apply and, if accepted, whether they decide to enroll in the program. The merit scholarship is independent of any other financial aid or scholarships. Once you nominate a student, we'll follow up to share more information about our program and help them figure out if Global Citizen Year is a good fit for them!

Nominate a Student

Hear from our supporters

Eric Lombardi, Head of Fort Worth County Day School

Eric Lombardi, Head of Fort Worth County Day School

"As a school proud of sending 100% of our graduates to college, we are also thrilled to have Global Citizen Year as an option we present to those students who know that they need something different and who want to make a difference in that year after they graduate. We were particularly pleased to find their commitment to scholarship dollars. In our search for the best options for our graduates, Global Citizen Year quickly went to the top of the list."

Rick Shaw, Stanford University Dean of Admissions

"We find the kids who come back from a year off are often wiser, they're more mature, and have a different perspective than those who might have gone straight to college."

Ivy Shamis, Marjory Stoneman Douglas Teacher

Ivy Shamis, Marjory Stoneman Douglas Teacher

“Several of our students are taking advantage of being immersed in an global gap year before college and they are making the memories of a lifetime. These students experience being part of a global community, leading to interconnected world leadership that will shape their values, beliefs and perspectives. This program gives them insight to how the world cooperates and a sense of responsibility to help keep our world free from hate, conflicts, poverty and pollution and instead filled with diversity, equality, opportunity and love.”

Student outcomes & our impact

Since 2010, we have trained more nearly 1,000 emerging leaders from 46 states and 32 countries, and applications to our program are doubling each year.

Global Citizen Year alumni are highly engaged in their education because they are connected to their purpose. They are going to college with the perspectives, skills and mindsets that enable them to make the most of their undergraduate experience.

Upon graduation, they are finding meaningful careers that directly align with the personal mission they discovered on their Global Citizen Year.

View our Alumni outcomes Report

Key Stats

91% become proficient in a new language

The vast majority of Fellows placed in Brazil, Senegal, and Ecuador return proficient in a new language.

Tesla, JP Morgan, United Nations, TFA

After college, alumni are finding meaningful work with cross-sector organizations and 85% believe their work makes a difference in the lives of others.

Graduate college one year faster

Our alumni are graduating from college one year faster than the national average.

Fulbright, Rhodes & Gates Scholars

Distinguished by their Global Citizen Year, alumni achieve competitive grants and fellowships.