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 Global 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 led by three instructors from different disciplines will equip you to think critically and holistically about how our own mental maps compare to the realities of a globalized world, as well as how language plays a role in refugee resettlement within the legal, healthcare, and educational systems.

Through the program's additional weekly workshop, you will develop the skills and the critical consciousness to consider what it means to be a "global citizen" in today's world. Second semester, you will engage in a community-based learning project in which you partner with a local organization to explore tangible ways to foster and practice solidarity within the St. Louis community. An optional trip during Spring Break will provide further opportunities for hands-on learning and interaction with organizations and people involved in the themes of the course.


Global Citizenship Program fosters local-global solidarity through community-based learning

Global Citizenship Program fosters local-global solidarity through community-based learning

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

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


FALL 2021

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

This yearlong workshop, which is restricted to and required of participants in the Global Citizenship Program (GCP), is a companion to the core GCP fall course. During the first semester, students will analyze their own identities and biases as a basis for learning about other identities, cultures, and worldviews. We will then explore the topics of solidarity, charity, agency, and empowerment in order to better understand how we can contribute to ethical and lasting change as global citizens. This work will prepare students for their second-semester community-based learning project in which they partner with a local organization to develop a project together. Second semester will also include a Spring Break travel portion to the U.S.-Mexico border.

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: Language and Resettlement with Legal, Healthcare and Educational Systems

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 readings that lead us to an understanding of the modern refugee as we contextualize the significance of such terms as 'refugee,' 'asylum,' 'sanctuary,' 'non-refoulement,' or 'forced displacement.'  With this foundation, we move to the role that language plays with resettlement into society and examine factors in the legal, healthcare and educational systems. We examine global work done through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and more, and we concentrate on the current state of refugees and New Americans in St. Louis and the USA. The course fosters critical thinking across academic disciplines, encourages practical implications of research on global citizenship, and includes guest lectures by local practitioners and other Washington University scholars. 

L61 FYP 1503 AMPERSAND: Workshop for the Global Citizenship Program

This workshop, which is restricted to and required of participants in the Global Citizenship Program, is a continuation of the Fall L61 FYP1503 workshop. While continuing with our individual self-analyses, we will also explore tangible ways to practice global citizenship and foster solidarity through a community-based learning project with local organizations. The Spring Break trip will provide more first-hand learning experiences with organizations and communities touched by in the themes of the course.

"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 in Global 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 Global Studies (GS) major, you may want to apply to be a part of the Global Studies 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