Application Overview

Welcome to the Global Citizen Year 2015-2016 Application Center!

For students graduating in 2015: Part 1 of our 2015 – 2016 Cohort Application is now live! Our Main Application will be launched in the fall.

Students graduating high school in 2016 and beyond should fill out the Interest Form to receive news and updates. 

For general information about the application process, please read the information below and be sure to refer to other important information in the Criteria & Eligibility and Tuition & Funding sections.  If you have questions about the program, check out our FAQs here or email us at applications@globalcitizenyear.org to learn more.


How to apply

Applying to Global Citizen Year consists of a multi-part process designed to help us get to know you while also giving you a chance to learn more about the program.   Although rigorous, the application process is also intended to be fun, interactive, and distinctly different from any other process you’ve ever completed. We hope you take this as an opportunity to reflect and express yourself creatively – and we look forward to getting to know you better along the way!

Country Placement: Global Citizen Year currently offers programs in Ecuador, Senegal, and Brazil. Once admitted to the program, Fellows are matched to a country through a process that balances individual preferences, cohort composition, and the needs of our local partners.

Country Specific Applications: If you are interested in applying to a specific country program, you may do so through a supplementary question in the application. Country-specific applications will be considered when space is available, and cannot always be accommodated. If you choose to submit a country-specific application, we encourage you to apply as early in the year as possible.

Partnership with The New School: Global Citizen Year partners with Eugene Lang College at The New School to offer selected participants the opportunity to complete coursework and earn credit during their Global Citizen Year. If you would like to be considered for this program, please note that you must also apply and be accepted to the Eugene Lang College at The New School to be eligible. For more information about this joint program, please email info@globalcitizenyear.org.


Application Components

The application process consists of the following:

  • Written Application, including several short essays, two letters of recommendation, a high school transcript, and a Student Aid Report (for those seeking financial aid).
  • Phone Interview, lasting approximately 20 minutes.
  • Second Round Interview, either in person or via Skype, lasting approximately one hour.
  • Supplemental Parent Conversation, scheduled only as needed by Global Citizen Year for further information, lasting no more than 30 minutes.  (Note that all parents will have an opportunity to speak to Global Citizen Year staff following acceptance decisions.)

Choosing when to apply

Global Citizen Year understands that each student’s senior year is different. Some students will begin the year knowing for certain that they plan to take a bridge year, while others may take longer to come to this decision.  For this reason, we offer a Priority, Regular, and Final deadline. While you should choose a deadline based on the timeline that works best for you, there are specific advantages to applying early, as detailed below.

Priority Deadline

This deadline offers the most advantages to applicants committed to a bridge year.  Benefits include:

  • Access to more available phone and final interview time slots (including make-up interviews in early January if you are unavailable during scheduled December interviews)
  • Priority consideration for financial aid
  • Priority review in country placement process
  • Earlier notification of your admissions decision (often in time to share your plans with potential colleges)
  • Additional time to prepare for your Global Citizen Year and get started on your pre-departure program requirements, including the Summer Campaign and language learning

Regular Deadline

Regular Deadline applicants still have access to financial aid and placement in all host countries, although opportunities for both are slightly more limited than in our Priority Deadline.

Late Review

Applicants wishing to apply during this period should note that country placement preference is limited, as is financial aid, and the process is conducted on an accelerated timeline.  Fellows who plan to be away for some or most of the summer should plan on applying in the Priority or Regular Deadline to allow more time for obtaining a passport, visa, and other necessary tasks.


Whichever deadline you choose, please be sure you do not have any scheduling conflicts that would prevent you from participating in any of the steps outlined above. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at applications@globalcitizenyear.org, and we will be more than happy to help.

Good luck!

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