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Global Scholar FAQs

How is Global Scholar different from other programs?

Global Scholar stands out from other summer programs serving high school students for several reasons:

  • 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. We spent about half of our time meeting with experts, offices and institutions.
  • Scholars develop real projects, campaigns and events to implement in their communities or on their campuses. Participants leave with a robust plan, and the skills and support they need to make their project happen. After all, there’s no better way to learn than by doing!
  • Global Scholar is part of a broader youth movement of concerned, young global citizens. The experience extends way beyond the session; participants enter a family of over 30,000 student leaders and activists affecting change on their campuses and in their communities. Since 2002, over 100,000 students have participated in our programs.
  • 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 comparable summer programs. This isn’t a business for us; we’re not out to charge students and their families exorbitant fees to participate. Rather, we see this program as our contribution to empowering a generation to build a better world. We offer scholarships, and can help you fundraise from family and friends to attend.

What’s the structure of the virtual program?

The virtual program will run the same dates as the in-person program. However we will now have programming on the two travel days (the first Sunday and the last Friday). We will not have programming over the middle weekend (Saturday-Sunday).

Scholars can choose between two cohorts with staggered timing. One starts at 9am ET, the other at noon ET. In general the days are split between 1) a main session block, for an issue seminar or Action Lab workshop, 2) a group work block, during which cohorts will complete challenges and projects, have small-group guided discussion around what they’re learning, etc. and 3) a full-group meeting during which Scholars from both cohorts will share updates, participate in joint activities, and more.

How will the content be different from the in-person session?

We will meet with the same experts, have the same exceptional skills training, and learn from the same fantastic staff as during the in-person program, alongside an even more global set of peers.

The only difference is we will not sightsee or visit offices in person. BUT again we’re hoping for an in-person meeting in 2021!

What experience do you have running virtual programs?

We have been designing and delivering exciting online workshops for many years, and have run Global Scholar as a virtual program before (most recently for the British Council). The days will be full of seminars with issue experts, very interactive skills training, small-group conversations, individual and group projects, fun and relaxing activities, and more. A virtual program will also be able to welcome an even more diverse set of participants, including many from around the globe who would have more difficulty joining the Washington, D.C. program.

How will we get to know each other?

Global Scholar cohorts get very close and build lasting personal and professional relationships. That will happen whether we’re online or in person.

In addition to using great virtual tools that enable us to see eachother, work in small groups, share materials, work collaboratively and more, we’re also planning a number of “social times” throughout the virtual experience. These include virtual hangouts, dance party, energizers, team building games, and much more.

We are also going to host an optional long weekend in Washington, D.C. in early 2021 for Global Scholars to meet in person, visit congressional offices, launch their projects, and more. This would be an optional and additional expense, and of course contingent upon our ability to travel and meet in person.

Finally, all Global Scholars – whether joining us online or in person – enter our large alumni network of young global leaders.

Who teaches the policy seminars?

Learning at Global Scholar takes place through interactive workshops and small group seminars. Seminars are led by issue experts representing the public, private and non-profit sectors. They have deep and hands-on experience working on the issues we discuss throughout the program, from climate change to global health to the rights of women and girls. Scholars have met with the likes of Ambassadors Bonnie Jenkins and Thomas Pickering, Former US Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, Senator Heidi Heitkamp, and many more.

Who teaches the skill-building seminars and workshops?

Workshops are led by our fantastic staff, who are experienced trainers, youth leaders, and entrepreneurs, and have hands-on experience with these issues. Our Head Trainer Vanessa Faloye has extensive experience as a trainer-facilitator, curriculum developer, and project coordinator in social impact education. Find out more about our staff here.

Who are the staff?

Global Scholar have experience both working on global issues, and leading youth groups and residential programs. Our longtime program director Karen Showalter has led the program the past ten years, and has over 20 years of experience working on global and domestic policy issues. Find out more about our staff here.

Do Global Scholars get grades, a certificate, credit, and/or recommendations?

Global Scholars will receive certificates upon successful completion of the program, and staff will happily write recommendations for college or other applications. We do not provide grades or credit, although we are happy to work with you to apply for credit at your school if applicable. And of course, the Action Lab gives Scholars a concrete project to share and launch at the end of the experience, which is a great resume-builder!

How many students are in the program?

We place a premium on providing a small-group experience. A typical class size is about 20-25 students. We break the group into smaller cohorts for much of the session.

How many scholarships will you offer, and are they full or partial?

Last year, 40% of the class received partial scholarships. We offer as many scholarships as possible, depending on funding.

Is Global Scholar part of a larger organization?

Yes! Global Scholar is run by AMP Global Youth / Americans for Informed Democracy, a non-partisan national student organization founded after 9/11 to help students understand global challenges and build their skills for taking action.

Does Global Scholar promote a particular political agenda?

Our goal is to inspire student conversation around the United States’ role in the world and key global challenges facing us today. These conversations are based on the premise that the US does have an important role to play beyond our own borders. We strive to help students understand all sides of issues, and empower them to formulate their own opinions on the best courses of action for our country to take.

I haven’t studied these issues before – does that matter?

Global Scholar is intended to be an intense introductory program. Although many of our participants have had some exposure to global issues, for example through school or travel, it’s definitely not required (and many others don’t). The only thing that’s required is an interest in exploring global challenges like poverty and climate change, as well as the US role in addressing them. Sessions introduce key issues and concepts, and background readings and assignments provide additional depth. The sessions move at a quick pace, and even those who are familiar with these issues will be challenged to deepen their understanding even further. This is particularly true during the Action Lab, when Scholars design their own campaign or project.

What are you looking for in essays / participants?

We look for participants who are curious about the world around them. Scholars should be inspired to learn more about global challenges, and their role in addressing them.

Is there an application deadline?

No, but as we’ve stated above space is very limited. We encourage applicants to apply as early as possible.

When will I know if I’ve been admitted?

Expect a response within two weeks of your application date. Please let us know if you need a quicker response … we’ll see what we can do! Contact us any time at globalscholar@ampglobalyouth.org.

Refund and Cancellation Policy

We work hard to keep costs low and to provide a valuable program that is competitive with similar offerings, so we ask for your understanding to respect our Cancellation and Refund Policy.

If you cancel within 30 days of the start date of your Global Scholar session, you won’t receive a refund. If you cancel within 60 days but more than 30 days to the start date of your Global Scholar, you will receive a refund of 50% of the amount you’ve paid, excluding your non-refundable Application Fee.

Space at our courses is limited, and we have to reserve student housing and vendors well in advance. As a result, our ability to provide refunds is limited strictly to these timetables. We understand that few can afford to pay for a program that they can’t attend, so we strongly encourage you to consider our refund policy when making future plans and to plan carefully.

Did we miss something?

Have any questions that weren’t answered on this Global Scholar FAQ? Please contact us at globalscholar@ampglobalyouth.org or call 202.709.6172.

We look forward to seeing you this summer!