Global Citizen Year - Gap Year Program India

Video and Photos

Vegetable and Fruit Market | Pune
TFI Fellows Pari and Vikram's Wedding | Bangalore
Chatting with students after school | Pune


Global Citizen Year is a non-profit social enterprise forging a new educational pathway for emerging leaders. We offer an experience filled with discovery, perspective, adventure, and independence. In one year you join a family, work in your local community, learn a new language, receive training from thought leaders, form a lifelong network, and make an authentic impact on a community worlds away from your own.

As a Global Citizen Year Fellow in India, you will have the unique opportunity to apprentice as a teaching assistant through our ground-breaking partnership with Teach For India. Together with TFI you'll have the opportunity to help make a real impact for students in under-resourced classrooms.

For more information on India or to chat with a staff member click on "Visit Site" above. If you're ready to get going on your application, click on "Get Started". The Global Citizen Year team is excited to hear from you!

Questions & Answers


based on 5 reviews
  • Housing 8.4
  • Support 8.8
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 7.6
  • Safety 8
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
Yes, I recommend this program

A Once in a Lifetime Operation

This was an amazing once in a lifetime experience. It was extremely difficult at times, as I had issues with my host family, but those difficulties were extremely well supported by staff in country. And they only provided me with space to grow! I was able to live and navigate in a foreign country, learned to speak a new language, and got to work with an amazing mentor, and teach an amazing group of students

What would you improve about this program?
I would recommend a increased screening of host families, and better host family fitting process. But as the number the program is run more I can believe they will improve this process.
Yes, I recommend this program

Taking Ownership of My Journey

Words can never truly express what India was and is to me, nor can they ever do ultimate justice to all the amazing encounters, journeys, and memories from my life there. For me, going to India was never a question; living in another country was an obvious part of my future. But acknowledging the need for a selfish year was perhaps the ultimate challenge to embrace. I recognised the need for a year to step outside the societal expectations and limitiations to discover unknown elements and boundaries of my identity and being, reality and mentality. Recognising that I knew too little about 'Chantal' to even be there for myself, I decided to travel to India with Global Citizen Year. Not for this romanticised idea of spiritual journey in this unknown country, but because I was intrigued by the beautifully diverse intricacies of its reality, very much like my own psychology. My life in India was much more than 'being a part of a programme'. It was a true test of character, of values that I never had to justify before, a manifestation of the lifestyle I committed myself to when becoming a part of the United World College. It was a commitment to myself, valuing my existence and development, and a commitment to the world as a future resource. I hope and intend to return to India and congratulate my students in their own language, and celebrate their individual accomplishments. Being a super-proud didi. I hope to give back for all the things they gave and taught me.
I am only filled with immense gratitude for India for showing me all its colours, and for Global Citizen Year for making all the memories and learnings a reality.

What would you improve about this program?
The programme in India was by default limited due to it being the launching year. Global Citizen Year should and is continuously working on improving itself, however I encourage them to take it slow and focusing on establishing itself properly in India, whilst also working on the programme with internationals and the Mental Health Protocol, before expanding the number of Fellows even further.
Yes, I recommend this program

A Mess of Beauty

Every time I sit down to write about my experience in India I find myself at a loss for words. It's funny because many times during my Global Citizen Year, I found myself at a loss for words. India is full of anomalies that left me with my jaw hanging on the ground. It was beautiful - ornate architecture, the serenity, the people. It was a mess - disparity, the chaos, the people. There is a saying in India; "What's said about India is true. But the opposite is equally as true," and I found that to be a recurring theme during my time there. Living in this world of extremes was difficult and even uncomfortable at times but needless to say, that is where personal growth comes from. To grow we must step out of our comfort zones and into our stretch zones and if you're someone who thinks they are ready to push themselves in ways they have not been pushed before, then I would like to quote an incredible writer. "Say YES!" -Tatiana Calonje. Not only was India kind enough to show me her mess of beauty, but she was able to show me the mess of beauty within myself.

What would you improve about this program?
My time in India could have been bettered if the Global Citizen Year more clearly communicated their mission and purpose to all members involved.
Yes, I recommend this program

Beginning of a Momentum

My Global Citizen Year in India was the most responsible decision I could have ever made at the age of 19. The experience walks alongside me daily, gently reminding me of lessons and perspectives which ultimately have not only bettered me as person you may be meeting for the first time but also now as a student viewing the years of classwork before me entirely different than I did before. Global Citizen Year allowed me to grow and learn in ways I couldn't have had from any classroom, book, summit, event or reflection. The connections I made with my community were constantly expanding as my fluency in Hindi progressed and I began to truly care about the people who I lived with, worked with and interacted. My presence at my apprenticeship felt valued and I was able to build on a skill that at the end of the day had little to do with how well my voice carried in a loud room or how well I could hold the attention of over 40 preteens. It had all to do with my willingness to be versatile, patient and committed but above all to believe that we were all going to achieve something at the end of the day even if it was just cutting pictures out of a newspaper. It was 8 months in which I was constantly stimulated, uniquely challenged, inspired, interested, concerned, cared for and pushed in ways only Global Citizen Year could have granted. What may be seen as a risky and unreasoned decision to some became the beginning of a momentum and bond that carries into my pursuit of higher education and holds strong thousands of miles away.

Say YES!

What would you improve about this program?
My year could have benefited from ensuring that all the stakeholders in-country conveyed the Global Citizen Year values and learning outcomes.
Yes, I recommend this program

Couldn't be better - बहुत अच्छा का प्रोग्राम (very good program)

I returned from India with Global Citizen Year in April of 2016, and I cannot recommend this program more. The staff is amazing, and they really make sure that you learn as much as possible and grow astronomically. There is a unique combination of independence and support, with immersion that I haven't seen in any other program. However, this does come with a considerable amount of growing pains, and I do not want to understate the difficulty of living in this country for 8 months. India is an assault on the senses, and it can be hard to get one's bearings in this country.
If you go in with an open mind and no expectations than this program will ensure that you succeed.

What would you improve about this program?
Better selection of host families. My host family spoke English fluently as one of their primary languages, so I did not learn Hindi as well as I would've liked. But as I understand, they are making access to Hindi-speaking host families a priority.