Photo by Mattie Gottbrath, Global Citizenship Program Tucson Spring Break

Global Citizenship Program

A First-Year Ampersand Program

Make the most of your first year.

Offering fundamental skills relevant to International and Area Studies, this First-Year Ampersand Program 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 you 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 displacement, among others--that impact the lives of refugees, asylum seekers, and the internally displaced across the world.

Through the program's additional weekly workshop, you will create connections with your classmates and the international community in St. Louis. You will develop the skills and the critical consciousness that will help you explore what it means to be a "global citizen" in today's world. 

“GCP created a community in the classroom as well as outside of it. Being able to meet first-year students and interact with them in the same field for an extended amount of time before declaring a major is extremely helpful. The most rewarding part is the community we managed to help by becoming a part of it.”  -GCP Participant, Class of 2023


Reflections From My Trip to Tucson With My Global Citizenship Program Class

Reflections From My Trip to Tucson With My Global Citizenship Program Class

Global Citizenship Program ('23) Class Blog

Global Citizenship Program ('23) Class Blog


FALL 2020

L61 FYP 116 AMPERSAND: Geographies of Globalization & Development

This course 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 we 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

Content fosters critical thinking and pushes us to explore themes from the faculty-led course, such as cultural and social identity, migration, resettlement, and advocacy. You will plan a campus event addressing an international topic of interest. An optional off-campus trip to the U.S.-Mexico border during Spring Break provides further opportunities for hands-on learning with organizations and people involved in the themes of the course.

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 as 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. In addition to contextualizing the significance of such terms as '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. 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. This course is restricted to first-year students in the Global Citizenship Program.

L61 FYP 1503 AMPERSAND: Workshop for the Global Citizenship Program

A continuation of the fall workshop.

"I wanted to act, and I wanted to learn about refugees and the experiences that they have coming to this country. But looking back, we covered those things and so much more. I think that I am walking away having realized that immigration issues are so much closer to home than we often realize."

-Beldina Orinda, Class of 2023


Beldina Orinda, GCP Student in Tucson, AZ

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 and Area 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.

GCP student, Anne Johnson, in Tucson, AZ

I discovered that being a global citizen can be achieved anywhere, even with a smaller community, so long as I take the chance to reach out to people and educate myself on the ways that global issues touch my life.

―Anne JohnsonGCP Participant, Class of 2023


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

Email Mattie