What if all college freshmen arrived on campus after a transformational global bridge year? What if today’s students arrived not burnt out but with a set of burning questions?
Global Citizen Year is on a mission to make a “bridge year” after high school a new rite of passage in American education. The Oakland-based nonprofit immerses a diverse corps of Fellows in communities in Latin America, Africa, and Asia to build self-awareness, global skills, and grit – the foundations for success in college and beyond.
The program combines cultural immersion, cross-sector apprenticeships, and leadership training across the arc of a full academic year. Starting with a pilot of 11 Fellows in 2010, Global Citizen Year is now poised to welcome its largest cohort to date – 110 Fellows – in 2016-17.
For an 18-year-old, spending eight months in a new country is full of challenges, especially language acquisition. Thankfully, for the past three years, Global Citizen Year has partnered with Rosetta Stone to help Fellows build a foundation to communicate in their new home.
Prior to their departure, Fellows utilize Rosetta Stone products to gain a familiarity with their new language. In a recent video, Fellows shared their appreciation for Rosetta Stone support, noting the first words they learned and how language skills helped them adjust to their new home.
“Upon arriving in Dakar, I was able to begin fostering strong relationships with my community,” Mouna Algahaithi (Senegal ’14) reflected. “I was able to confidently introduce myself and begin the journey of creating lifelong friendships with those around me.”
Fellows’ initial familiarity with the language blossoms once they are immersed: 91 percent of Fellows return to the US proficient in the local language, and many continue to pursue language learning in college.
Global Citizen Year’s mission aligns closely with the Rosetta Stone Enterprise and Education division. Both believe America’s students need to develop global cultural competence and language skills in order to compete in the world’s economy.
Global Citizen Year alumni enter college with purpose and passion, aware of the impact they seek to make in the world. The organization’s 450 alumni have been named Fulbright Scholars and Davis Peace Prize winners and its first college graduates have entered Teach For America, the Peace Corps, and Venture For America.
“We are thrilled to partner with Rosetta Stone,” David Omenn, Global Citizen Year’s Vice President of Development, said. “As a worldwide leader in language acquisition, Rosetta Stone has given our Fellows a significant boost during their first critical weeks in a new country.”
We’re proud to help Global Citizen Year accomplish their mission – helping shape the next generation of global leaders.