- By Parag KhannaParag Khanna is a senior research fellow at the New America Foundation and author of The Second World: How Emerging Powers Are Reshaping Global Competition in the 21st Century.
Gap years are not a common phenomenon in the U.S., but increasingly American teenagers are considering alternative options pre-college and seeking opportunities to expand their horizons before committing to particular universities or majors. Now in its second year, Global Citizen Year provides exciting opportunities for cultural immersion in countries such as Brazil, Senegal and Ecuador, with more options to be added in coming years. After a multi-week bootcamp focusing on entrepreneurship and culture, GCY apprentices embed themselves in rural communities and carry out year-long projects in fields such as health, education, environment and technology. Here are some examples of GCY apprentices at work:
Mariela discusses her work on installing and mapping wooden cooking stoves in Brazil:
Naomi Wright and Madeleine Balchan cook a traditional meal from raw fish in Senegal:
Michael Stivers, currently in the Salvador/Bahia region of Brazil, discusses activism with his host:
Peter Saudek shows us inside a classroom using computers for the first time in Ecuador: