Preparing the next generation to move the world ahead

Global Citizen Year is launching a generation of students equipped with the perspectives, skills and networks to solve humanity’s most urgent challenges.

Each year we recruit a diverse corps of talented young people from across the globe. Using the formative transition into adulthood, we help them shape their values, identity, and purpose.

In our immersive Take Action Lab, students gain lifelong skills during a semester in South Africa, where they’ll learn from experienced human rights advocates working to advance social justice. Together with a diverse cohort of like-minded peers from around the world, students will collaborate and contribute to local solutions for global challenges.

Ultimately — in partnership with educators, colleges, and communities — we are unleashing a critical mass to build a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.


As a non-profit committed to advancing equity and opportunity for all, we are dedicated to making this experience available to the highest potential students we can find, independent of their family’s financial circumstance. To date, more than 80% of our participants have received need-based financial aid.

We are dedicated to making Global Citizen Year accessible to talented young changemakers from all backgrounds. We also know that people from the global south and people who identify as BIPOC are underrepresented in positions of leadership and disproportionately impacted by income inequality. Therefore, our scholarships target individuals without the means to afford Global Citizen Year, with a need- and demographically-aware philosophy to ensure that we are giving access to traditionally underserved groups.

Financial Aid Information


Hear from our supporters

Rebecca Warren, Head of Educational Development UWC International

“Many students from UWC (United World Colleges) choose Global Citizen Year as an aligned and enriching next step before college. Coming from all around the world, the attention to equity is really important to our students and to our organization, and we appreciate the care that Global Citizen Year takes in preparing and mentoring young people as learners within meaningful placements. We witness tangible growth in maturity and their ability to face challenges. Perhaps, more importantly, we see our students acquire a deep place-based understanding of both local and global sustainability issues, guided by Global Citizen Year, through their reflections on the relationships they develop and the experiences they have.”

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

“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.”


Since 2010, we have trained nearly 2,000 students from 45+ states and 100+ countries. Applications to our program continue to increase 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

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