Revel in the Sights and Sounds of a Vibrant Culture

India is a land of contradictions, where one of the oldest cultures on the planet infuses a distinctive urban life powered by a billion people. A nation of stirring beauty and staggering inequality, where unpaved roads are lined with colorful statues of Hindu deities. A place where you can discover your passions while learning from others in the microfinance sector, the entrepreneur’s office, or the schoolroom where you can empower students to dream of a brighter future.



About the City

Hyderabad is the capital of Southern India’s Telangana state, where modern industry meets ancient tradition. With a metropolitan population nearing 8 million, fellows in Hyderabad should be prepared for city living; however many placements also offer the opportunity for regular visits to more rural areas. Hyderabad has become a hub for biotechnology and IT, and many international companies base their Indian operations out of the city, leading to an influx of young, educated workers and rapid growth of modern business facilities. These modern business parks and shopping centers are a fascinating juxtaposition to the historical Old City, where you can discover Hyderabad’s history and traditions as a global trading center. Despite massive growth and a strong economy in the biotech and IT industries, 13% of Hyderabad’s residents live below the poverty line, with large urban slums and a growing population of underserved communities. With motorcycles alongside horses and a unique blend of religions, languages and cultures, Hyderabad is sure to overwhelm your senses and provide a fascinating environment in which to experience your bridge-year.

About the Organization

Global Citizen Year is an award-winning, non-profit social enterprise on a mission to make it common 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 ideal for students who crave a deeper understanding of the world, and ultimately of themselves; who want to be prepared beyond what any classroom can teach; and who want real world experience, hard skills like a second language, the confidence to know what they wan,t and the courage to pursue it relentlessly.

Global Citizen Year is a 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 online language training and readings about India. Fellows will then attend the Tufts 1+4 Orientation on the Tufts campus before traveling to California in late August for Global Citizen Year’s Pre-Departure Training program. After arriving in India in early 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 until 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, and will participate in the Tufts Post-Service Retreat and ongoing workshops and meetings as Tufts students in Fall 2018.

Language Training

English is commonly used in India, however Fellows will still have the opportunity to learn a foreign language through this program. Fellows will participate in a pre-departure language program to achieve a minimum proficiency in Hindi or Telugu, and will receive additional language training in-country, including intensive language classes during orientation, and ongoing weekly classes for the duration of the program.

Housing and Meals

During service in India, 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 local residents. 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 with 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 Hyderabad 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, homestay, 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 Hyderabad 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 people in order to magnify and deepen impactIMG_0300
  • 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

Fellows are 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 as well as meetings with business leaders and social sector entrepreneurs. During the service year, fellows will participate in Global Citizen Year’s three training seminars. These week-long workshops provide structured training and reflection, outdoor and cultural activities, and opportunities for fellows to connect with one another and Global Citizen Year staff away from their host communities. Toward the end of the service year, 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.

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.

Girls Education & Empowerment

Gender disparities remain significant in India, with just 30% of girls graduating from 10th grade, and 47% married before the age of 18. Fellows in this project will work in schools to promote female health and education, providing essential skills for girls to have agency over their own lives and futures. Focused on providing girls ages 11-14 with critical knowledge including health education, action-oriented life skills like leadership, and English skills to increase education and employment opportunities, fellows will serve as mentors and educators by supporting programming, leading workshops, and building relationships with supervisors and girls in the program.



Microfinance & Economic Development

Fellows who are interested in microfinance can join a social enterprise focused on providing loans to Indian women to promote small business development, such as tea stalls and animals for milk production. By working with a microfinance start-up focused on promoting financial inclusion in regions of the country where banks are scarce, fellows will learn a great deal about this growing industry, and the ways in which small loans can impact women and their families. Fellows will support the Hyderabad office in HiTec City in a variety of areas. Potential tasks include attending meetings, taking notes, drafting reports, supporting website maintenance and social media, and a host of other activities. Fellows will also have regular opportunities to attend community meetings in rural areas and see how this industry works on the ground.


Public Education

India Fellows interested in supporting public education have the unique opportunity to apprentice with Teach For India. Global Citizen Year has partnered with Teach for India (TFI) to address an essential need in India – educational inequity. TFI is part of the Teach for All network (which also includes Teach for America) and was created to build a movement of leaders to eliminate educational inequity.

TFI has a Fellowship program which attracts India‘s brightest and most promising individuals from top universities and companies to serve as full-time teachers to children from low-income communities in some of India‘s most under-resourced schools. 1+4 fellows have the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant alongside a TFI Fellow in one of these classrooms. No prior teaching experience is required – just energy and passion to make a difference in a classroom by being a role model and sharing your perspective of the world.

View more photos from India.