students abroad

Global Citizenship Program

A First-Year Ampersand Program

Make the most of your first year.

Enabling students to acquire fundamental skills relevant to International and Area Studies, this Ampersand Program for first-year students examines what it means to be a citizen of the world, challenging its participants to engage in both demanding texts and real-life scenarios. This two-semester course sequence will equip first-year students to think critically and skeptically about the different factors, such as internal and international displacement, legal and clandestine border crossing, the role of international aid organizations, the concept of asylum, language learning and education, integration, among others, that impact the lives of refugees, asylum seekers, and the internally displaced across the world.

Through thoughtful class discussion and weekly collaboration in an event planning workshop, participants will develop skills for effective group work and a critical consciousness that will serve them throughout college and their future career. Joining the Global Citizenship Program (GCP) will link you to participants, past, present, and future, with connections that we hope will last a lifetime.

students abroad


Shivani Desai, Class of 2017

"My experience both as a student in the Global Citizenship Program and as a Mentor for the Global Citizenship Program has allowed me to develop the leadership, critical analysis, and public speaking skills required in our increasingly global world. I have had the chance to learn, read, think critically, and debate about salient international and political issues such as comparative education systems, refugee and human rights laws, and worldwide protest movements. My time with these programs has shaped my academic pursuits and research thesis interests, and moreover, it has given me a uniquely global perspective that is absolutely applicable to any major."


FALL 2018

L61 FYP 116 AMPERSAND: Geographies of Globalization & Development

This seminar provides an overview to the geographies of globalization and development in the world today. We begin by engaging with a variety of theoretical perspectives, definitions, and debates in order to establish the foundations upon which students can conceptualize and understand existing patterns of inequality, social injustice and environmental conflicts. In order to further highlight the different ways in which development and globalization interventions are experienced and contested, in the second half of the course we will focus our considerations towards specific contemporary issues at the forefront of globalization and development debates, including migration and refugees, urbanization, sustainable development, tourism, and alter-globalization social movements.

L61 FYP 1503 AMPERSAND: Workshop for the Global Citizenship Program

The workshop will foster critical thinking and push students to explore the significance of cultural and social identities in a globalized society. In addition to the assigned course content, students will also examine their own mutual interests, build relationships and develop valuable skill sets as they collaborate to plan an event of global concern for the campus community.

Companion Course: You are strongly encouraged to enroll in a foreign language at your level of proficiency.


L61 FYP 117 AMPERSAND: Global Population on the Move: Refugees, Resettlement, Education, and Advocacy 

Today, the number of displaced people is at its highest: one out of every 113 people on Earth. In this course, we begin with an understanding of what it means to be a refugee, and we discuss pivotal historical readings that lead us to an understanding of the modern 'refugee,' 'asylum,' 'sanctuary,' 'non-refoulement,' or 'forced displacement.' Our discussions will also allow us to engage with the broader meanings of concepts that include hospitality, identity, belonging, and citizenship. With this foundation, we move to the role that language plays with resettlement into society and the educational system by examining work done through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and more. We concentrate on the current state of refugees in St. Louis and in different Central American countries as preparation for our research trip to Costa Rica during Spring Break. The course fosters critical thinking across academic disciplines and includes invited guest lectures by local practitioners and other Washington University scholars. The course also requires community outreach with local community integration services. 

L61 FYP 1503 AMPERSAND: Workshop for the Global Citizenship Program

A continuation of the fall workshop.

Admission to the Program

How do I apply for admission to the GCP?

After you have committed to coming to Washington University, you will receive a publication entitled “Getting Started” which lists GCP as well as a number of other first-year programs. You are asked to register your interest and submit a brief essay in order to apply, which usually occurs mid-May. Since the applications are handled by personnel in the College of Arts & Sciences, please keep checking the First Year Programs website for updates!

What criteria are used in selecting participants?

We try to make the best match we can between students and program by looking at your background, your current interests, and your academic achievements. A strong essay is key in the application process.

What if I am not admitted into GCP but would like to get started on International Studies?

There are many ways to gain an international perspective during your first year of college. Courses like World History, International Politics, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and civilization courses are available to all incoming students and provide a wonderful foundation for advanced study. You can also enroll in foreign language classes in preparation for studying abroad. Finally, if you are certain you want to be an International and Area Studies (IAS) major, you may want to apply to be a part of the IAS Honor Society.


Please direct all questions to Mattie Gottbrath, the Coordinator for International Programming.

Email Mattie