My Global Citizen Year Overview

Erin Pugh - Senegal


August 28, 2019

      Hi! Welcome to my blog where I’ll be posting (frequency tbd) about my bridge year for the next few months. I haven’t actually left the country yet, so I thought it would be most useful to answer some basic questions:


Where am I now?

       Global Launch! It’s our entry training held at Stanford with fellows from every country (Ecuador, Brazil, Senegal, India). We’re going through leadership seminars, learning about the program, and forming relationships before we’re scattered around the world.


Where am I going?

      I’m leaving this Friday for Thies, Senegal (I recently learned this city’s name is pronounced “chess” after months of mispronunciation). I’m living with host parents and several host siblings near the main market, a military base, and a sports center.


What am I going to be doing?

Every fellow is assigned an apprenticeship in their host community, and I’m really excited to start mine. Things will likely evolve over time, but this is what Global Citizen Year has told me so far: “You will work with the representative of a local NGO at the school with which they intend to trial their flagship project. You will be primarily based in the school, though you may also be required to go on a semi-regular basis to the NGO's office, where another Fellow will be working. You will also be helping to launch a district wide school newspaper along with another Fellow based in a different school, and co-teaching with an English teacher and working with the school's English Club.”


When will I be back?

We’re leaving Senegal at the beginning of April and returning to California for re-entry training which ends on April 11th. Then I’ll have by June 1st to complete my Capstone Project—essentially presenting my experience to the community.


Why am I going?

Now that’s harder to answer… Basically, as much as I loved my classes and teachers, high school wore me out. I need a break from that competitive environment before college, but I also want to keep learning in other ways. At school, I was taught about the world without actually interacting with it. I’m not dismissing my entire education, but I’m eager for experience—something Global Citizen Year provides a wealth of. My main reason lacks the same clean logic: This gap year simply appeals to the very core of my being. It would feel absurd not to go.

If you’re interested in following my blog, you can find the subscription button below my bio. Finally, here’s the link to my fundraising page for the next group of fellows’ financial aid: https://donate.globalcitizenyear.org/fundraiser/1910313

Erin Pugh