Capstone Project

Sophie Schonbach - Senegal


June 7, 2018

What is that?

The so-called “Capstone Project” is the final component of the program designed by Global Citizen Year that guides you through your Gap Year. It is part of the “Transitioning” phase and takes place in your home community. It is a platform to share and highlight the learnings and all other crucial aspects about your experience that are important to you (me in this case).

This blog post is a reflection of the presentation me and my friend Ayla (who joined and completed the same program but in a different country: India) gave to interested peers at our former high-school: UWC Robert Bosch College.

Our approach:

Giving a presentation about the experiences we had to current students at the international boarding school we went to only seemed appropriate as as soon as you include the aspect of the program we attended to walk us through our Gap Year (Global Citizen Year) we wanted to share with possible applicants (and neither Germans nor Kiwi’s can simply apply). The reason why we emphasised on the GCY aspect of our experience so much is on one hand simply because we encountered a lot of interested people who considered GCY as an program to attend to in their own future. As we hoped on the other hand (and also as it turned out to happen), through opening up the floor mostly to our listeners and letting them ask questions about the program, it’s role and responsibilities in our Gap Year on all levels, from host-family to community to language learning to personal free time to security, we were able to create a very personal reflection and also comparison of our experiences. The fact that we could present direct similarities and differences between our year abroad made the meetings we had very whole but opened them up to much bigger questions at the same time. Often we noticed how the topic would shift from talking about the program’s responsibilities to our own ones: What do we represent both abroad and at home? How do we acknowledge privilege? How do we not end up as voluntourists? How do we make such an experience sustainable?

I observed that having a dialogue instead of a plane on-sided presentation encouraged individual thinking and gave us quite naturally a very helpful platform to share as we also got “feedback” and comments on what others think about what we did.


Sophie Schonbach