Let me just start out by saying, “Congratulations! You’ve already taken a giant leap just by thinking about taking a bridge year!” The fact you’re interested and pursuing possibly a different pathway mean’s that you’re ready.
Senior year is a crazy one for sure. When I first heard about Global Citizen Year, I was sitting on the steps outside of a college campus (see the irony there?). Now, I’m three-thousand miles away from the university I will be attending next Fall.
If you’re scared right now, let me just relieve all that stress by saying “you don’t need to be.” Many colleges defer and, if yours doesn’t, call them (never email college campuses for an urgent question) and tell them about this incredible opportunity and I’m sure they will re-think their deferral policy (like my college did for me).
When I was a senior last year, no one ever mentioned that not going straight to college was an option. And I’m so happy to tell you, future Fellow, that it 100% IS! Financial aid, college deferral, parents saying no… It all works out if you are ready to work for it.
Now as for the program, I can only start by saying that it will change you. Global Citizen Year isn’t a year of sleeping in and trying new foods; it’s a year of going to work early and coming home to another family, different foods, and a new language. As you’ve probably heard Abby Falik mention in all of her YouTube interviews, “Global Citizen Year is a non-profit, social enterprise dedicated to preparing the next generation of emerging global leaders and entrepreneurs.” You’ll miss your family at home, but will make an entirely new one in your host community. Your old friends will be in college, but your eighty-five new friends will be right by your side for the entire nine-month journey. And you won’t be reading textbooks; you’ll be writing a new one.
When I was talking to my friend, Gabriella, she said, “Don’t be intimidated by the program and application process because you’ll be so grateful you did it all in the end.” Emery added “just do it; you’ll thank us later.” I don’t think there’s a better way of saying it. (You can also listen to us talk more about Global Citizen Year in this video if you want!)
Yes, you’ll live with a host-family in a new community. You’ll have an apprenticeship. You’ll be learning a new language. But, in all honesty, you just have to “do it.” That’s why were writing this letter to you, because we want you to know we believe you are ready for this bridge year. You are ready to become a Fellow.
If you anxiously stalk Global Citizen Year’s Facebook page and hashtag #globalcitizenyear on Instagram, then what are you waiting for? Hit that submit button! Let your new adventure begin, and embrace this new and amazing opportunity.
“What if my parents say no?” Have them contact Global Citizen Year directly, and show them how much this means to you. A single phone call has more power than you know.
“What about the money?” Global Citizen Year provides at least 80% of Fellows with financial aid, and one out of three receive full tuition.
“What about college?” College will be there when you get back! It’s not going anywhere. Many Fellows know where they will be going because they have already deferred. Others are applying abroad, with a better understanding of what they actually want to study when they return.
“Am I ready?” What do you think? You wouldn’t be reading this letter if you weren’t. Do it. Start your application. Finish your interview. Become a Fellow. And we will see you at Pre-Departure Training in August!