American University. July 20 – August 2, 2014

Global Scholar is an intensive global leadership program for students who are eager to build a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. We believe that today’s leaders – pursuing any profession – must possess a firm understanding of global challenges, be confident in their ability to mobilize others, and have the skills and opportunities to make change happen. Global Scholar is unique in that we provide all three in a really interactive, action-packed and fun package!

In 2014, Global Scholar will once again be based at American University in beautiful Washington, D.C. The session will take place from July 20 – August 2, 2014.

** JUST IN: Speakers confirmed for 2014 include: The Global Campaign for Education (discussing access to education worldwide) * The Stanley Foundation (discussing genocide and Syria) * The Aspen Institute * The Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (discussing Russia / the Ukraine) *  The World Bank * The United Nations Foundation (discussing the role of the United Nations, the Millennium Development Goals and the rights of women / girls) * Oxfam USA (discussing global food security) * the Food Research and Action Center (discussing national food security) * Ken Banks, founder of Frontline SMS and National Geographic Emerging Explorer (discussing social entrepreneurship and technology in development) * Professor Michael Beevers, Dickinson College (discussing climate change and conflict minerals) * Professor Jim Riker, University of Maryland (discussing international affairs and youth advocacy) * Unity Productions Foundation (discussing interfaith dialogue and the use of film for social change) * US Senate Offices. Additional speakers announced throughout the spring!**

Program highlights include:

  • Seminars with policy experts on key global challenges like climate change, the rights of women and girls, global security, global hunger and more. Scholars learn from the experts, gaining valuable “insider” insight on global issues, as well as a sense of what it’s like to pursue a career in international affairs.
  • Visits to embassies, Capitol Hill, think tanks and other D.C. institutions. Scholars have unparalleled access to leaders who are making change happen. In recent years Scholars have met the Ambassadors from Afghanistan, Bahrain and Niger, toured the World Bank, USAID and State Department, and met with their Senator’s offices on Capitol Hill to discuss foreign policy challenges including the global food crisis and child marriage.
  • Workshops on leadership, communications, public speaking, policy making and advocacy. We’re the only summer program on international affairs that offers robust training on the skills leaders need to make change happen. Through interactive, hands-on sessions Scholars will learn how to identify opportunities, build partnerships, plan projects and programs, recruit supporters, message a cause, pull off great events, build a team and evaluate success. See a list of workshops on the website here: http://www.globalscholar.org/curriculum/.
  • Global Crisis Simulation. Scholars will be challenged to apply their new skills through a fun, fast-paced and real-time simulation of an evolving global challenge.
  • “Glocal” Workshop. The local truly is global, and to illustrate that connection we’ll spend a day exploring the causes and impacts of global hunger at the local, national and global levels. We’ll visit a local program combatting hunger, and meet with experts and advocates working on hunger at the national and global levels.
  • Social Change and Innovation Seminar, during which Scholars will explore the basics of social entrepreneurship, policy making and advocacy. Scholars will also draft their own project or campaign to launch in their school or community.
  • Career Panel, during which Scholars meet with young professionals working for the government, non-profit organizations, think tanks and social enterprises. Our small group format guarantees Scholars will have lots of time to ask questions and get advice!
  • Exploring beautiful Washington, D.C. in the summertime! Last year we visited the Smithsonian museums and Kennedy Center, went to a Washington Nationals game, and checked out fireworks on the National Mall!

Global Scholar is the only summer program on global issues that offers a robust mix of both seminars and skillbuilding; we believe that students shouldn’t just get informed, they should get activated to build a better world.

Our successes:

Participants report amazing increases in their understanding of global challenges, and their confidence as leaders. Last year, one hundred percent reported they were more confident identifying problems that need to be addressed in their community, and figuring out what they can do about them. They also overwhelmingly reported increases in their:

  • Confidence leading groups
  • Skills for making change happen
  • Understanding of the power of youth

Our graduates have gone on to do amazing things. A 2011 Scholar is now the President of the Sophomore Class at Columbia University. A 2012 Scholar is now the Coordinator of the AIDemocracy network (our parent organization), while also attending a joint BA/MD honors program at Brooklyn College. Another is launching a version of Global Scholar in her home country of Ghana, and several others have embarked on prestigious gap year or language programs before college. And many of our graduates have stayed involved with us following the conclusion of the program; we’re particularly proud of that fact, given the focus of this program is to inspire action on the long-term!

Check out some quotes from past participants:

  • “Global Scholar was a great way for me to learn more about global issues while simultaneously learning how to reach out and help to fix [challenges] in my community.”
  • “Global Scholar far exceeded my expectations! I learned so much, and had fun doing it. I definitely feel more equipped to tackle global issues.”
  • “At Global Scholar, you can learn how normal people, the foundation of democracy and great movements in history, can change our world for the better.”
  • “An incredible learning experience that helps broaden horizons!”
  • “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.”
  • “Global Scholar taught me that every action we take has a global impact. The program taught me to be aware of the impacts of our actions on the global community. After participating, I am more prepared to go out into the world and make it a better place. Global scholar is dedicated to nurturing politically active, well-rounded individuals who are confident in their beliefs, and training them to go out and advocate for their beliefs to ultimately repair and better the world.”
  • “I can honestly say that Global Scholar was the biggest catalyst in getting me where I am today. I was so inspired by the high school students who had such a zeal to learn about the world. I was entirely awestruck by the interns and young employees at AID. I had no idea that college students could have such an impact on the world in such a huge way. I really do owe where I am today to my two weeks at [Global Scholar].”

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. Most programs just offer coursework. We go beyond the classroom to offer extensive leadership, communications and advocacy training.
  • Scholars experience what it’s like to work on global issues, first hand. From meeting leaders, to spending time in the offices of international organizations, to chatting with young professionals about their career paths, Scholars gain a rare “insider’s” perspective on what a career in international affairs really looks like!
  • The experience extends way beyond the summer. Scholars draft real projects or campaigns to launch at home, and have access to year-round training opportunities and alumni network.
  • Our small size enables us to focus on the growth and learning of each participant.
  • We’re affordable. You’ll find that our programs are significantly less expensive than almost any competitor program (often by as much as half!). We’re run by a national student organization. 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 (over 30% of participants receive assistance), and can help you fundraise from family and friends to attend.

Contact us to find out more: globalscholar@aidemocracy.org or 202.709.6172.

Most of our participants are rising high school juniors and seniors. Please get in touch to discuss whether Global Scholar a good fit for you!