Global Scholar

Immerse yourself in international affairs. Meet exceptional people. Learn to lead.

Become a Global Scholar.

Global Scholar is an intensive program offering students the chance to sharpen their understanding of international affairs, and their skills as advocates and leaders.

After participating in Global Scholar, I have a more critical eye of world events and global issues. I don’t just accept what is written in the news. I can now read between the lines and think about why a problem happened, who is affected and how it might be resolved. – Daphnee O., 2011 Global Scholar alum

We offer two tracks:

Global Scholar Prep: for high school students
Global Scholar Prep Session 1: July 1-13, 2012.
Global Scholar Prep Session 2: July 15-27, 2012.

Global Scholar Institute: for college students
Global Scholar Institute Session 1: May 20-26, 2012.

Request Information Apply Now to Global Scholar Prep! Apply Now to Global Scholar Institute!

Global Scholar Prep is an intensive two-week academic enrichment program that offers rising high school juniors and seniors to chance to pursue college-level coursework in international affairs. Held at American University in exciting Washington, DC, the program prepares students to be successful thinkers and leaders. Now in its fifth year, Global Scholar program components include: university style curriculum; riveting discussions with policy experts and advocates leading debates on key issues; visits to embassies and Congressional offices on Capitol Hill; leadership, advocacy and policymaking skillbuilding; a “campaign Idol” competition; and a policy simulation. Students will make friends in an environment that fosters academic success alongside summer fun! More information on Global Scholar.

Global Scholar Institute is an intensive week-long program for college students with some prior exposure to global issues. Participants deepen their understanding of global challenges and the global system, engage with leaders in non-profit organizations and the government, and build valuable leadership and organizing skills. Global Scholar Institute is a fast-paced program designed to catapult today’s young global leaders into successful careers in international development and foreign affairs. More information on Global Scholar Institute.

Apply to Global Scholar today!  Request Financial Assistance.

Cultivating global leaders

Global Scholar Prep and Global Scholar Institute prepare outstanding young leaders to be “global citizens” in our increasingly interconnected world. The programs build on a shared insight among university leaders, policymakers, scientists, and business executives that young people need global awareness in order to excel in their collegiate studies and in their professional careers. Participants debate the meaning of global citizenship, explore issues that define our interconnected world, and build essential skills they will need to engage and lead us into the future.

“We live in a truly global age… To solve most of the major problems facing our country today – from wiping out terrorism… to eliminating the scourge of AIDS – will require every young person to learn more about other regions, cultures and languages.”       – Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State

Our program provides students with a global perspective that they can draw on throughout their lives. Our experienced instructors know their material, but more importantly they know how to engage and challenge a diverse group of young people. As an organization, AIDemocracy has spent nearly a decade on college campuses across the US. We’re about a lot more than book learning. As a Global Scholar, you’ll have an opportunity to socialize and build lasting friendships with your peers that share your interest in building a deeper understanding of global issues.

“Global Scholar was an enlightening experience. I was introduced to exciting new perspectives and I developed analytical and debating skills which have been crucial to success in my senior year and in the application process!” – Marco Romeo, Global Scholar Alum

Our successes:
Participants build academic, policy analysis, leadership and organizing skills. Our 2011 program participants reported the following:

  • 86% increase in their understanding of global institutions
  • 50% increase in their understanding of global issues and their local connections
  • 65% increase in their confidence as leaders
  • 50% increase in their comfort taking action around global issues

Another major outcome of the program is that it connects young people with other motivated students interested in changing the world!

  • “My son … was glad to be part of a diverse yet cohesive group. He met people of all different backgrounds, which enabled him to see world events through different points of view. And they all shared contact information so I am hoping that they can stay in touch. ” – Anne M., mother of 2011 Global Scholar participant
  • “I learned that there are others, like me, who care about building a better world for ourselves and the future.” – Daphnee O., 2011 Global Scholar alum
  • “As a parent I truly want to thank you for giving my daughter such an enjoyable and gratifying experience. I think what I am most pleased with is that she meet a well rounded group of young people that truly are her peers.” – Jan C., mother of 2011 Global Scholar participant

What makes our programs different?
There are lots of great programs out there. Here’s how we’re different:

  • We focus on building global leaders who have both the knowledge and the skills to make our world a better place. Many programs just offer coursework. We go beyond the classroom to offer leadership and advocacy training, and inspire students to put their new skills into action through our ongoing work on global issues.
  • Global Scholar and Global Scholar Institute are part of a broader youth movement of concerned, young global citizens. The experience extends way beyond the session; participants enter a family of over 40,000 student leaders and activists affecting change on their campuses and in their communities. Since 2002, Americans for Informed Democracy (our parent organization) has organized thousands of events involving over 100,000 students on campuses across the United States.
  • We’re affordable. We’re run by a national student organization, and we charge just enough to cover our costs. You’ll find that our programs are significantly less expensive than almost any competitor program. And we offer scholarships too!

“In our increasingly interconnected world, students need a global education to succeed. Programs like Global Scholar that connect high school students with international issues help to build a global competence that students can draw on throughout their lives.” – Amy Chua, Professor, Yale Law School


Apply to Global Scholar Prep or Global Scholar Institute
We are looking for students from all fields, backgrounds, interests and geographic areas who have a strong academic record, leadership skills, and most importantly, an eagerness to learn more about the world.  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Space is very limited: applicants are encouraged to apply early.

Fees and scholarships
Costs vary, depending on length of program and housing requirements. Find out more.

Request Information Apply Now to Global Scholar Prep! Apply Now to Global Scholar Institute!

Our Global Scholars Are a Diverse Group

Check out our yearbook photos from a recent class of Global Scholars. You’ll feel at home in an engaging academic setting.


  1. Hello,

    I’m highly interested in the global scholar summer program. However, I can’t find much info about it. Can you direct me how to do so?


  2. The “Teen Ink” website posted the following announcement with a link to this website:

    “Ahead of the Curve is a new two-week seminar on globalization at Michigan State University. The seminar is designed for talented high school students who have an interest in international affairs.”

    Where can I get more information about this program?

    • Hi Christine: Sorry, we don’t know anything about ‘Ahead of the Curve’ – it’s not part of our program. But it sounds like something similar to our Global Scholar program above. Good luck!

  3. Dear friends,
    First I wish all the GSP Professors who are taking lots of initiative to help the students to gain lots of knowledge and courage in the events .

    Secondly I am happy that the students are joining GSP and learning from the Professors…!!!

    With regards,
    Altaf Ahamed
    Freelance Journalist & Social Activist
    – First May Day Awardee
    – National Magnum Awardee
    – National Awardee – Karmaveer Puraskar

  4. I’m really excited to see this program back! I was a part of it for two summers and had a great experience and met great people. It such a wonderful way to get a diverse group of excellent young scholars together to help address important global issues!

  5. Glad to see the Global Scholars program is still going strong. I was a student in 2007 and had an excellent experience. The program is highly informative, and proved hugely beneficial during my University studies. I encourage everyone to have this experience

  6. I applied for your scholarship program around 3 weeks ago, but still I did not get a response about it. When should I expect the decision about scholarships. Thanks.

  7. Leah Mesh-Ferguson

    I had a great experience with Global Scholar this summer. I learned a lot, went on some fun and educational field trips, and now I am hoping to become more involved with AIDemocracy. I definitely recommend this program if you are interested in what is going on in the world outside the United States.

  8. Hi there,
    I saw your program and I’m really interested! Do you accept foreign students? (I’m Italian)

    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Maria! Yes we do! Anyone is welcome to attend Global Scholar. We’ll be announcing dates for upcoming school-year programs very soon! And we will have dates for the Summer 2012 sessions in the near future. Please email me directly with any questions: karen@aidemocracy.org. Thanks!

  9. Interesting to see that Global Scholar moved from Washington and Lee to American. Oddly enough I too went from Washington and Lee with Global Scholar 2006 and am now an American alum. Should be great fun.

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