Location: Santa Catarina, Brazil
Organization: Global Citizen Year
Service Areas: Arts & Cultural Preservation; Education & Training; Organic Farming & Agriculture Systems; Social Entrepreneurship & Nonprofit Management; Wildlife Preservation & Environmental Sustainability
Language Requirement: None. Fellows will participate in a pre-departure language program to achieve a minimum proficiency in Portuguese and receive additional language training in-country.


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About the Region

Santa Catarina is the smallest southern Brazilian state, best known for its natural and cultural diversity. Its capital city is Florianópolis, an island off the southern coastline and home to nearly 450,000 people. Santa Catarina’s main industries include technology, tourism, traditional fisheries, and agriculture. Santa Catarina has a humid subtropical climate, falling just short of a true tropical climate. The summer is warm and with high exposure to sun, while winter can bring snow in the nearby mountain ranges.

About the Organization

Global Citizen Year is an award-winning, non-profit social enterprise on a mission to make it normal to choose a bridge year; an experience after high school that builds self-awareness, global skills, and grit – the foundations for success in college and beyond. This life-changing experience is for the student who craves a deeper understanding of the world, and ultimately of themselves. The student who wants to be prepared beyond what any classroom can teach. The one who wants real world experience, hard skills like a second language, the confidence to know what they want and the courage to pursue it relentlessly.

Global Citizen Year is the launching pad for bold high school grads who are hungry to make a real impact in the world, and to make college count.

Fellowship Structure

Bridge-Year Fellows will begin their preparation remotely through Global Citizen Year’s summer campaign, which will include language training and readings about Brazil. Fellows will then attend Global Citizen Year’s pre-departure training in California and the Tufts 1+4 program orientation on the Tufts campus before traveling to Brazil in September. Service will begin with a four-week, in-country orientation that features intensive language study, workshops and training. Full-time service placements will run to the beginning of April, after which Fellows will participate in both in-country and California-based re-entry training. Fellows will return home in mid-April before returning to Tufts for our end-of-program retreat at the end of May.

Housing and Meals

During service in Brazil, Fellows primarily live in a homestay with a local family that also provides meals. Living with a host family offers an immersive opportunity to experience the culture of your new community, and to build relationships with locals. Host families are carefully selected to ensure the safety and comfort of Fellows, who usually have a private room within the home. During Global Citizen Year training and other group activities, Fellows may stay in dormitories, hotel rooms, retreat centers or host families.

Support Services and Health

In addition to receiving ongoing support from Tisch College staff and senior management throughout the Bridge Year, Fellows in Santa Catarina will benefit from three levels of local support: Global Citizen Year staff, individual placement supervisors, and host families. Global Citizen Year local staff will hold regular meetings, conduct monthly site visits to each placement, offer ongoing workshops, and plan and supervise group excursions. They are also available 24 hours a day to assist Fellows with any issues that arise throughout their Bridge Year, whether related to health, home stay, service placement, or other areas. Local placement supervisors will oversee Fellows’ daily work and contribute to their learning and growth. Host families contribute to Fellows’ cultural integration and provide a safe and supportive home environment throughout the Bridge Year.

In order to be eligible to participate in Global Citizen Year, Fellows must be able to meet Global Citizen Year’s Essential Eligibility Criteria. If you have any questions about these requirements, please contact us. Global Citizen Year has developed a list of recommended urgent and primary care providers in Santa Catarina and the surrounding area and will assist Fellows with any health concerns that arise during their Bridge Year. Fellows will have international medical insurance through Global Citizen Year as well as international emergency medical coverage through Tufts University’s partnership with International SOS.


Fellows will use the public transportation system or walk to their placements.

Skills Fellow Will Develop

Global Citizen Year’s leadership model focuses on six learning spheres:

  • Self-Awareness: You act from a place of deep personal understanding and purpose, and are aware of the impact you have on others.
  • Adaptability: You are able to grow, learn, and adjust in a constantly changing environment without compromising who you are.
  • Accountability: You are committed to upholding the experience, safety, and needs of self and others.
  • Collaboration: You take the initiative to work from diverse groups of peosophiaple in order to magnify and deepen impact
  • Global Perspective: You analyze and appreciate issues from multiple perspectives with curiosity and empathy
  • Cross Cultural Communication: You are able to effectively exchange ideas across cultures and background

In addition, Fellows will develop a commitment and community to lead future change, and champion the bridge year for future students.

Activities Beyond Service

Each Fellow will be responsible for designing and executing an independent project in collaboration with community members, based on an assessment of the community’s interests and needs as well as a self-assessment of where the Fellow is uniquely positioned to contribute given his/her personal strengths and interests. Fellows are also encouraged to independently engage in additional activities, such as teaching English, leading or participating in a local sports team, or learning a new trade (such as crafts or tailoring). There will also be ample opportunities to participate in local cultural events and excursions to culturally important sites.

Service Experience

If you want to work in a specific service area not listed here, please contact us! When possible, we will work to find a placement within our service locations that fits your skills and interests.


Wildlife Preservation & Environmental Sustainability

Bridge-Year Fellows will be placed in one of several local organizations that work on the issues outlined above. Fellows will assist with daily chores and maintenance, give educational tours to local visitors and schools, and help integrate and manage short-term volunteers. They may also develop promotional materials to attract more visitors and funding, facilitate environmental education classes in the local community, and help university researchers with their projects.




Organic Farming & Agriculture Systems

Fellows who apply to work on these issues will be working directly alongside farmers in one of several farms. Fellows may also lead tours for local tourists to their sites and assist with promotional materials and the sale of products in local stands. Fellows may also teach English in the local school and work with youth groups on after-school tutoring, eco-clubs, and arts.






Social Entrepreneurship & Nonprofit Management

Fellows interested in social entrepreneurship and innovation will work with one or more local organizations that focus on these areas. Fellows may assist with administrative tasks, help organize conferences and events, serve as a reader on community funding applications or manage social media outreach, among other tasks. Fellows will learn from colleagues and supervisors as they support the growing social innovation hub of Florianópolis.



Education & Training

Global Citizen Year works with a number of schools, universities and organizations offering education to the communities of Santa Catarina. Placements may range from working with children to working with university students. Fellows may assist teachers and professors with planning and developing educational activities, lead English classes, learn about research areas and assist with lab activities, or support individual students through tutoring, among other activities.