Global Scholar: How we’re planning around COVID-19

Dear Prospective Global Scholars and Parents:

We send our best wishes to your family and community during this difficult and unprecedented time.

As we prepare for the Global Scholar events this summer, we are actively planning to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on our programs. Below please find:

  1. Click here to read more about how we’re planning for our Washington, D.C. based program.
  2. Click here to read more about a virtual version of the summer program.

How we’re planning around COVID-19 for our Washington, D.C Program

Both the Global Scholar program and our host campus American University are closely monitoring and will adhere to guidance issued by both the CDC and Washington D.C. Department of Health (DCDOH). We are taking the following steps to minimize any health and/or financial risks for students and their families, while also ensuring that our students benefit from a great summer of learning.

1. We have added significant flexibility to our cancellation policy. In short, should American University be unable to host our program, following guidance from the CDC or the D.C. Department of Health, we will refund 100% of the amount you paid minus the application fee. We understand that summer programs are a significant expense for families, and we are doing our best to ensure that your risk is minimized to the greatest extent possible.

2. It would also be advisable to make travel plans that can be changed or cancelled with minimal or no fees. Fortunately many travel providers are relaxing change fees in response to the disruptions caused by the pandemic. For example, we’ve seen that Delta and United Airlines will allow travelers to reschedule any flight booked between March 1 and March 31 for free over the next 12 months.

3. We are also updating our program procedures to ensure that students follow best health & safety practices during the program, for example by taking frequent hand washing breaks, reducing our time spent in large public spaces, and more.

4. Finally, we would also like the Scholars to know that we are committed to their learning this summer, and to offering an experience that lifts up their voices and power to get involved in addressing our biggest global challenges (like COVID-19). We have two updates on that front:

1. Should a cancellation of the in-person Global Scholar event become necessary we will offer an optional virtual version of the program that students can access from anywhere. While we run a great in-person program, we also run a great virtual one! And have done so many times. In addition to the full suite of regular Global Scholar programming offered online, this option could also include an optional weekend trip to Washington, D.C. later in the 2020-21 school year to visit Capitol Hill, meet with experts, come together with other Global Scholars, and more.

We will share more details about these options as they are available. But again: Scholars we are here for you this summer, one way or another. And we firmly believe your voice is critical in helping our country and planet respond to global challenges like this.

Updates on a Virtual Version of Global Scholar

Greetings Scholars and parents! We know you’re eager to have a fulfilling summer, and we’re committed to offering the Global Scholar program in Washington, D.C. if we can, or online if that turns out to be best! We will continue to release information about the virtual program as it is available. Here’s what we know:

1. Would the virtual program be the same as the in-person program?

In most ways, yes! The learning objectives will remain unchanged. The virtual program will focus on helping youth understand global challenges, build their skills to be global leaders, and explore careers in international affairs. We will still meet with global experts and leaders, too. In fact: a virtual program enables us to invite a much broader set of speakers, which is exciting!

We will also be able to connect personally using virtual tools, which ensures that participants will still build close relationships with other youth passionate about global issues. We use technology that facilitates small-group learning, 1:1 conversations, and more. In fact, once again the virtual space expands our ability to bring a diverse cohort of young leaders from around the world together for this experience.

2. What will the learning look like?

Again there are so many options with a virtual model. Scholars will meet with experts via video chat, then break into small groups for precept sessions to reflect on the day’s discussions. They will also work in small facilitated teams to complete daily challenges and group assignments, and have additional activities to complete on their own every evening.

The training workshops will use the best of what virtual tools have to offer, too. In fact we’ve found that we can still build the energy of the room, get participants moving and having fun, facilitate small-group spaces and learning, and more using online tools. Participants will also get a kit of learning materials sent to them before the start of the program, that will contain important printed or other (read: fun) materials to complement the online experience.

3. When will the virtual sessions meet?

Right now we’re planning on their meeting the same time as the in-person programs: from June 30-July 12, and July 14-28.

4. When will you know for sure if you’re going virtual?

The million dollar question! We are following the guidance of the CDC, D.C. Department of Health and American University. If / when they determine that in-person gatherings are no longer advisable in Washington, D.C. this summer we will formally announce the virtual program. Unfortunately as things are evolving daily it’s hard to know exactly when this will be, but we’re guessing we will know one way or the other by the end of April.

5. What’s the cost?

We’ll have more information on this in the coming days, but it will certainly be significantly less than the in-person program as the housing and food costs will be deducted. We’ll still be able to offer plenty of scholarships, too.

6. How do I sign up?

Right now we’re asking everyone to apply through the main Global Scholar application. Please indicate on the application form if you’re only interested in one version of the program or the other.

A note that we recommend applying as soon as possible. Our summer 2020 sessions are almost full, and we expect an online program to meet capacity very quickly.

Please email us with any other questions! GlobalScholar@AMPGlobalYouth.org

About Karen Showalter

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