• Senegal
26 - 52 weeks

Program Details

Host Family
Primary Language


Starting Price
Price Details
We offer generous scholarships and our committed to accessibility. To date 80% of our Fellows have received some level of financial aid, and 30% have received a full ride. Our tuition is set on a sliding scale from $500 to $32,500 and is entirely determined by financial need. We will work closely with you and your family to determine a financial aid package that works for you.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airfare Meals SIM cards Transportation Travel Insurance
What's Not Included
Nov 13, 2020
Aug 16, 2016
4 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Global Citizen Year puts you a world ahead, so you can move the world ahead. You’ll live with a host family and apprentice to local efforts advancing education, health, and sustainability. The Fellowship is designed to give you the independence to personalize your own experience, while supporting you every step of the way.

In Senegal community is a way of life. Time is fluid. And terranga (Wolof for hospitality) undelies every interaction. Take a step back from the deadlines and individualism of the West and learn to see the world - and yourself - in a whole new way.

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from Global Citizen Year.

Video and Photos

For more information on Senegal 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!

Program Reviews

9.53 Rating
based on 17 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 94.12%
  • 7-8 rating 5.88%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Housing 9.7
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 9.4
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 17 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Growth, insight, and ability

Everyday I think back on my Global Citizen Year experience. I find that my thoughts, words, and actions are results of year and a program which guided me to grow in ways I never knew possible.
I spent my year living in Senegal in the Kedougou region. I had a wonderful host family who were excited to show me their world. In my education apprenticeship I established an art program at the elementary school and assisted in English classes at the middle school. I progressed in my study of the French language and learned a new language, Pular (a language I didn't even know existed until joining the program, wild thought, right?).
What is vital to understand about Global Citizen Year is that when you return home you will perhaps be able to produce a succinct list of what you did, as I have above, but what you will crave to share is who you have become, the realizations about the world, the thoughts you've had and the choices you've made.
Global Citizen Year does a fantastic job in providing the structure to support and guide you to accomplish exterior and personal goals. I entered the year hoping to get some work done, start programs, learn languages. Global Citizen Year was happy to help me take action, but simply paused and asked for my thoughts as well.
I learned to actively build relationships with my host community, host family, and within the cohort I traveled with.
Global Citizen Year does not have an agenda of values or skills it wants to give you, Global Citizen Year provides the structures and means to define and achieve your own personal value, skills, and goals.

While considering the program, do not overlook the undeniable beauty of the four countries: Senegal, Brazil, India, and Ecuador. Although I am partial to Senegal, as my own host country, the stories fellows brought back from all the other countries increased my desire to visit those countries as well.
The ability to live as a member of a family in a foreign country, to learn about culture and language from the very people to whom that language and culture is as natural as breathing is invaluable.
It is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will open the door to many more once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Just Do It!

Everyone says it, but this program really is life-changing. This program taught me how to:
- Think critically in a way that textbooks never did
- Find and create happiness
- Be independent, but know when to ask for help
- Live outside my comfort zone
- Value human connections

Being a part of the Global Citizen Year Cohort was definitely the highlight of my experience. I made some incredible friends during in-country training seminars, and even with fellows going to other countries during pre-departure orientation and re-entry training. The program does a great job with selecting fellows from every single background imaginable. Every cohort is racially, culturally, religiously and economically diverse. Some people had never left the country before and others were seasoned travelers, some people were already fluent in the language of the country they were going to and most of had just learned to say hello. Coming from boarding school and having lived abroad before, I thought that I would be immune to any homesickness and loneliness. But, I was totally wrong. This is where fellow-to-fellow support became very important for me, and I would not have had such a wonderful experience if it was not for my amazing/wonderful peers. Even now, 3 years later, I still turn to my fellow fellows for life advice and we continue to come together through official and unofficial alumni events. The alumni network is ever-growing, but regardless of which year or what country you went to, there is always an automatic connection with other alums.

What would you improve about this program?
*I participated in the program during 2012-2013.

During my year there were a few hiccups that affected my experience, mainly not having a stable apprenticeship until about 2 months into my homestay, and feeling as if there was a lack of emotional support/understanding from in-country staff. Overall, my time in Senegal was not filled with happiness and rainbows every day...but to be honest, getting through the hard times made it absolutely worth it in the end.

Talking with more recent fellows and staff, it's clear that Global Citizen Year has made and continues to make significant improvements to the program in order to improve fellow experiences before, during and after their time abroad.
5 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Emma Ruth Anderson - Senegal '13

- awesome financial aid
- & automatically entered me to be eligible for the GCY/Eugene Lang College Fellowship, which I am now graduating from in 3 semesters on campus in new york :) !

- amazing human connections & access to learning communities
- counsellor during one training seminar was very helpful and necessary for myself and others... maybe have one around all the time.. perhaps a local mentor :)

What would you improve about this program?
- increase staff / apprenticeships placement Support
- counsellor during one training seminar was very helpful and necessary for myself and others... maybe have one around all the time.. perhaps a local mentor :)
7 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Global Citizen Year, Unlocking a Lifetime of Potential

Global Citizen Year is a program that provides graduating high school students from around the world to experience a life-shaping year in a country drastically different from their own. For me, living in Senegal for 8 months was just about learning how to speak Wolof or to interact appropriately with my host family and community but it was also about putting myself in my stretch zone and learning to test my limits. I learned how to create a home no matter where I am and I learned how to belong among people who are so seemingly different from myself. Global Citizen Year guided me in learning how to handle my challenges in a culturally conscious, mindful way and how to be intentional in my actions. Senegal taught me how to be aware of and empathetic towards those around me. And I ended my year with a powerful sense of meaning and passion toward Life.

What would you improve about this program?
Global Citizen Year is committed to constant improvement and values, above anything else, feedback. There are plenty of ways Global Citizen Year can and is improving and I had the opportunity to share personally with the program leaders these suggestions and constructive critiques throughout and at the end of my year in the program.
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

A different kind of program

What sets Global Citizen Year apart from its host peers in the travel abroad industry is its acute focus on leadership development, immersion and reflection. The longevity in which the program participants stay in one place enables a deeper, more reflective sort of travel experience, and the tools Global Citizen Year provides in assisting its students in processing and supporting this learning is outstanding. For seven months, I awoke in the same hut, next to the same family, in the same Senegalese village, spoke the same language, and truly developed relationships and roots in a singular community. When it comes to immersion and travel abroad, the depth and breadth of the immersion experience with Global is truly exceptional, and was the singular most rewarding and meaningful aspect of my time abroad.

Because of this experience, I am more self-aware, more culturally and self competent, resilient, courageous and reflective. My year with Global Citizen Year redefined and helped me to articulate so many central elements of my life - values, practices, habits. I could not be more grateful to have had this experience.

What would you improve about this program?
Even more time spent in the community! We spend a considerable amount of time training and developing language skills in the capital city, and while important, I would argue that that time is somewhat excessive.
6 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Looking for a transformative year of self-discovery?

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: wanderingmiss13@gmail.com

7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Really somthin

Global Citizen Year is a unique experience that offers an amazing chance to independently immerse yourself in another culture. They offer great curricular support, and you are together with a Cohort of other awesome Global Citizen Year fellows that become your best friends. Ultimately the learning for me happened when I was supported into the community such that the world became playground. They create an great context for which to take risks, explore, and reflect. The program is expensive, but generous amounts of financial aid is available. If you are at all interested, just apply and see where it goes.

I went to a very small remote village in the Kedougou region where I learned the language Pulaar, and helped in the local community. This is not like traveling, this is living in one place and trying to learn a whole new way of thinking and while reflecting on what you've always been taught. Its humbling. Its becoming a respected (temporary) member of the community.

Some of my adventures include: (helping) to make charcoal, a well, mud huts, bamboo fences, a bakery, medicine, a garden, metal tools, hunting crocodiles, fishing with make shift supplies made in the wilderness, etc.. Each person walks away with their own handful of crazy life stories.

If you are unsure, contact any alum

What would you improve about this program?
It is hard if you are not used to being independent. They support you, but at first it is challenging to find things to do and get accustomed to living in such a different place. Also, the curriculum needed work. I went a few years ago, they actively change things every year to optimize the experience.
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Open Eyes

Being in places so different from anything I had every experienced allowed me to learn so much about the world, human nature and myself. Living in Senegal allowed me to experience what it means to be truly happy. My host family, my fellow Fellows, and my team leader changed my idea of what "family" means.

Obviously, I had some bad days and struggles, but my year with Global Citizen year was overall extremely positive and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

6 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Hi, thanks for reaching out! Unfortunately we do not have the resources to answer your question. As a next step we recommend reaching out to the program provider directly, which you can do here: https://www.globalcitizenyear.org/.

I had done a lot of interview after my graduation. The first was for a internship program aboard financed by European Social Fund and they try to see if my English was good and if I was motivated.

I applied in the first round (Priority Deadline), around September, and found out that I had been accepted by December, so around 2 months in total. However, the turnaround time is quicker for each successive application deadline (there are 3), and mine took the longest. As I applied early though, I found out that I was accepted before hearing back from any colleges that I applied to that year...

Hello- Global Citizen Yeat had a pretty rigerous application process and a limited number of places each year. Also the program strives to places it's fellows in sites where they will be challenged to be in their "stretch zone". The concept of a stretch zone is to be in an environment that is unfamiliar and that challenges you. Though it isn't impossible for you both to be accepted and your...