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Pune, India

Hyderabad, India


About the City

Pune is a thriving city of 3 million in the west-central state of Maharashtra. Centuries old, Pune is a vibrant example of old and new India intertwining. You’ll find ancient temples and traditions coexisting alongside the robust IT industries and many universities. Pune’s international student presence gives a young energy to the city, with hip cafes and cultural spaces. Pune is also an incredible city to be in during festival season, which brings the streets to life with the thunderous sounds of the dhols (traditional drums) echoing throughout the entire city.

About the Organization

Global Citizen Year is an award-winning gap year fellowship using the power of a deep, global immersion to unlock curiosity, conviction and courage in next generation leaders like you. Each year they recruit a group of exceptional high school graduates with demonstrated leadership potential - and use the formative transition between high school and college to ignite your passion and purpose. Live with a host family in a community in Africa, Latin America or Asia and apprentice to local efforts advancing education, health and sustainability. Through real-world experience, you’ll develop insights that shape your character, guide your education and prepare you to work toward shared solutions that advance the greater good. Become part of a movement of young leaders that the world needs now.

Fellowship Structure

Tufts 1+4 Fellows will begin their preparation remotely through Global Citizen Year’s summer campaign, which will include 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 multi-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 as Tufts students in September.

Please note, students who are under 18 at the time of visa application will likely be ineligible to join the India program due to visa guidelines established by the Indian government. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions about this requirement.

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 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 will 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

Note: 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.

In addition to receiving ongoing support from Tisch College staff and senior management throughout the bridge-year, fellows in Pune will benefit from three levels of local support: Global Citizen Year staff, individual placement supervisors, and host families. Global Citizen Year local staff 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.

Global Citizen Year has developed a list of recommended urgent and primary care providers in Pune 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 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

Tufts 1+4: IndiaFellows 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.

Public Education

India Fellows 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.

While supporting your TFI Mentor is an important part of your role, there are also countless opportunities to lead extracurricular activities and take on a leadership role within your school community. Fellows can coach sports teams, lead drama clubs and direct student performances, offer training in arts, lead workshops on girls education and empowerment, and more! A placement with TFI is a great fit for fellows who are ambitious, energetic and like to stay busy as there is always lots to do and many ways to share your interests and passions.

Fellows in India also have the opportunity to add on a secondary apprenticeship to explore other areas of interest. Opportunities include working with an urban farm supporting environmental education efforts; supporting community organizations centered on social work that offer sports for people with disabilities, music for underprivelidged children, or related community outreach; or focusing on women's empowerment through an organization providing camps and trainings to girls.

Justin Mejia

Justin Mejia, A20

School of Arts and Sciences
This bridge year was the best thing that could have happened after graduating high school. Being able to explore new and amazing places while making a difference was truly incredible. I learned so much about the world and about myself."