Podcast: Abby Falik on the Benefits of Global Service

Abby Falik (@abbyfalik) grew up with parents committed to traveling the world–and never the usual tourist traps. After high school, she wanted to get close to the issues she cared about but couldn’t get into the Peace Corps without a college degree. There just wasn’t a good option for a high school graduate to learn and serve abroad. Abby knew she’d have to fix that.

Ten years ago Abby started Global Citizen Year to expand access to life-changing global immersion experiences between high school and college. She knew these experiences were uniquely well suited to unlock courage, shape identity, and develop leadership and unlock courage.

Each year Global Citizen Year places about 150 learners in a 10-month international internship. They live with a local family and are part of a 10 student regional cohort.

The results are transformational and life long. Alumni are curious, courageous, more willing to do the hard things.

The program uses need-blind admissions–which means they have to raise a lot of money.

The value of global experiences is more important than ever. Global Citizen Year is one option for young people. But parents, schools, and colleges can all do more to create valuable international learning experiences.

Key Takeaways:
[:14] About today’s episode with Abby Falik
[1:14] Tom welcomes Abby to the podcast.
[1:20] Abby speaks about her education.
[7:18] Abby tells the story of Global Citizen Year.
[9:47] The mission of Global Citizen Year.
[11:35] How Global Citizen Year works and how to get involved!
[14:21] How Global Citizen Year impacts learners’ language acquisition.
[15:28] How much choice do the students have in choosing the place they would like to travel to and the type of learning experience they would like to have?
[16:20] Do the fellows get the opportunity to travel freely in their host country?
[17:33] Are fellows ever placed together? Or do they all get placed individually?
[18:05] Abby highlights some of the important qualities fellows gain from this experience.
[19:40] Abby speaks about the ever-increasing importance of the outcomes that Global Citizen Year provides for young people.
[22:03] Abby’s thoughts on how to begin blending informal learning experiences (such as that Global Citizen Year offers) with formal classroom learning.
[26:55] How can colleges incorporate Global Citizen Year or programs like it?
[29:44] Is Global Citizen Year seeking financial partners for the program?
[30:44] How many students are there in Global Citizen Year’s upcoming cohort?
[30:55] Where to learn more about Abby and Global Citizen Year online!

Mentioned in This Episode:
Peace Corps
Global Citizen Year
Rosetta Stone

For more, see:

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Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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