Taking a Global Citizen Year has been the best decision I've made in all the crazy-life-altering choices I've faced. The idea of traveling to a country whose culture is so different then mine while leaving my family behind both fascinated and terrified me, but was well worth it in the end.
I lived with a Senegalese family (the same one as Jordan Ricker, whose wonderful interview you can read on the next page) in Mboro, Senegal, a city on the Northern coast of Senegal. I had six siblings and shared a room with two of them (my sisters). For my apprenticeship, I taught at a preschool everyday, called Case des Tout-Petits. I've always loved working with children and teaching at an actual preschool (in Wolof!) was fascinating and tons of fun!
When I was first applying, the tuition scared me. I knew that even if I was accepted, there was no way I could ever afford to go. But the same day I found out I was accepted, I also learned I was awarded a fully-funded fellowship, meaning Global Citizen Year was paying for my entire year abroad! And on top of all that, full fellowships go out to over 20% of the 80% of Fellows who receive generous grants from Global Citizen Year.
The most difficult part of my journey was being away from home, but I quickly realized that while I had temporarily left my family behind, I was being welcomed into another ones arms.
If you're not ready to go to college, if you want to dip your toes into different fields of learning (volunteering at farms, schools, hospitals, businesses), if you want to meet amazing people and become truly aware of your self and your potential impact in this big, beautiful world, or if you just want to have an awesome year to share stories with your friends back home, then apply to be a Global Citizen Year. What do you have to lose?!
Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions: [email protected]