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Global Citizen Year

American University is happy to grant admitted, first-year students a deferral to join Global Citizen Year, as we believe this hands-on global experience will help empower lives of purpose, service and leadership-core goals for an American University education.

We encourage incoming students to gain valuable global skills and experience before arriving on campus and are excited to partner with Global Citizen Year to help provide these options for students. Global Citizen Year’s Take Action Lab—which selects talented students from diverse backgrounds, and equips them with the empathy, agency and global network to drive impact today—and over the course of their lives.

Take Action Lab (TAL): During an immersive semester in South Africa, students learn how to tackle global issues from the ground up by working alongside local experts advancing human rights, sustainability, and more. With Take Action Lab, students expand their awareness of both global issues and their own sense of purpose, ultimately fueling a future of positive impact. Together with a diverse cohort of like-minded peers from around the world, students will collaborate and contribute to local solutions for global challenges. Students will broaden their perspective of what’s possible – for themselves and the world – to help fuel a future of positive impact.

American University is happy to grant admitted, first-year students a deferral to participate in a Global Citizen Year program, as we believe this hands-on global experience will help empower lives of purpose, service and leadership—core goals for an American University education.

How to Apply

If you are interested in participating in a Global Citizen Year program, we encourage you to complete your application no later than the designated deadlines (May 11 for the fall 2023 semester). You will also need to request a deferral from AU no later than July 1.

If you apply for Global Citizen Year after you have been admitted to American University, Global Citizen Year will fast-track your application, guarantee you a final interview, and consider you for their generous pool of need-based financial aid.

If you are accepted to both American University and Global Citizen Year, American University will defer your admissions offer and any merit scholarships for one year to allow you to participate. If you received need-based financial aid, you will need to reapply for your new term by completing the FAFSA and CSS Profile.

Wyatt chose to take her Global Citizen Year in Pambal, Senegal because of her interest in women’s health and to strengthen her French skills. For eight months she lived with a host family and worked as a teaching assistant for an English teacher at her community’s local high school.

“My Global Citizen Year was a turning point in my life. It changed how I see the world and the people in it. Coming into my time at AU after my GYC affected every class choice I’ve made, every essay I’ve written, and all the clubs and organizations I’ve gotten involved with. Global Citizen Year will push you to be strong, to be vulnerable, to be open-minded, to be patient, and to realize that learning doesn’t just come from sitting in a classroom.”

Xandra choose to take a Global Citizen Year to challenge herself and gain experience in a field of study she was interested in. During her time in Pire, Senegal she worked both as a nurse assistant at a health post delivering babies and helping with basic patient care and as an English teacher assistant at the local middle school.

“Along with perspective and connections, the most valuable thing I gained from the experience, was a mindset of learning. My newfound mantra has given me the confidence to take charge of my future, explore the variety of classes and opportunities AU offers, and interact with my peers and faculty with a sense of assurance."