2021 PROGRAM OVERVIEW

GSS 2021 - Program Overview

Overview and Changes in 2020-2021: The Global Service Scholars (GSS) program is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn through coursework about the science and practice of compassion, effective altruism, and social justice, and to put these skills in practice in a one-month intensive summer field experience. Due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of last year’s summer experience, the program has been modified slightly for the coming academic year.

Foundational coursework: The 2021 cohort will be required to enroll in a three-quarter series of online courses: (1) The Science and Practice of Compassion in Fall 2020; (2) Advanced Seminar in the Science and Practice of Compassion in Winter 2021; and (3) Community Engagement and Social Justice in Spring 2021. In the spring course, students will be required to perform 50 hours of virtual or in person volunteer work.

Summer intensive experience: If international travel is safe and permitted, Scholars will have the option to complete international field service at partner sites. Otherwise, students will implement service projects remotely with domestic organizations or with our international partners.

ELIGIBILITY

To be eligible, students must:

  • Be an undergraduate student in good standing at UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego or UC Riverside through Fall 2021 - priority given to second and third year applicants
  • Complete online The Science and Practice of Compassion in Fall 2020
  • Complete an online Advanced Seminar in Winter 2021
  • Complete an online Community Engagement and Social Justice course including 50 hours of service in Spring 2021
  • Complete a summer intensive experience in Summer 2021

Considering applying? See the next steps:

  • Read past student experiences. Wondering whether the Global Service Scholars is right for you? Blog posts written by previous Scholars may help give insight. Read them here.
  • View a virtual information session. We offerined online information sessions to ask questions to Program staff and learn from previous participants. View a recording of one of the sessions here.
  • Build your application. The application consists of written responses and a video response. See a preview of the 2021 application here.

HOW TO APPLY

The 2021 Cohort application is now closed. We will follow up with respondents in mid-September 2020 with decisions and next steps.

Questions and/or concerns? Contact the Blum Center at blumcenter@uci.edu.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

UCI GSS

The 2021 Global Service Scholars cohort is open to undergraduate students in good standing at UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego and UC Riverside.


To be eligible for the Global Service Scholars program, participants must be a matriculated UCI undergraduate student through Fall 2021.

As a result, students who graduate in Spring 2021 and finish their undergraduate career are not eligible for the 2021 Global Service Scholars Program.

Graduating students are however welcome to participate in PSCI 192B (Fall) and UPPP 115 (Spring).


The 2021 Cohort application closes August 21, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

Students will be notified of acceptance by mid-September 2020.


Students may be able to use the GSS program to fulfill the UCI School of Social Ecology Field Study requirement. More information can be found on the Field Study website.

GSS students may also be able to fully or partially fulfill the internship requirement of the Civic & Community Engagement Minor. For more information, contact the CCE Minor.


There is not a specific length requirement for the application video; more important is to make sure you fully address the questions.

Videos can be recorded on a cell phone or mobile device.

In order to make sure the reviewers are able to view your video, please make sure that link sharing is “on” and allows anyone with the link to access. Below is a sample of the sharing setting.


If international travel is safe and permitted, Scholars will have the opportunity to work for one month (August) at US or global partner sites. Our global sites include Cape Town, South Africa; Cerrito, Paraguay; Oaxaca, Mexico; and we anticipate adding 1-2 additional sites.

If travel and summer field experiences are not possible or if students do not wish to travel, they will be provided a one-month summer stipend and funding to develop and implement a Small Change, Better World project either with a local or international partner.


Site assignment is based on a few factors including student preferences, language skills, program topics, and site capacity.

If we can continue with the in-person summer field experience, GSS will have the opportunity to work for one month (August) at US or global partner sites.

If travel and summer field experiences are not possible or if students do not wish to travel, they will be provided a one-month summer stipend and funding to develop and implement a Small Change, Better World project either with a local or international partner.


Projects and activities are site-specific. Typical tasks may include activities such as farming/sustainability, peacebuilding, education, community/youth development, and NGO development.

Read first-hand student accounts to learn about previous cohorts, or watch UCI DigiFilm videos on Youtube.


Accommodations vary from site to site, however students will have access to basic and comfortable dormitory-style rooms.


If international travel is safe and permitted: Full and partial scholarships are available based on financial need for airfare, housing expenses, and program fees. Personal expenses such as visas, passport fees, weekend excursions, and souvenirs are not included.

For domestic/remote projects, or if international travel is not permitted: Scholars will receive funding through Small Change, Better World to implement a service project.


There are a wide variety of study abroad opportunities. The Global Service Scholars program has a specific emphasis on compassion, empathy, and immersive service-learning with rural partners.

For more academic-focused or urban university settings, students may wish to explore other study abroad programs.

For experiential trips centered around conflict-resolution and peace-building, students may want to consider the Olive Tree Initiative.

For short-term service experiences, students can consider UCI Alternative Break.


For students accepted to the program, we will assist with enrollment to make sure a space is available in the required courses (Fall-Winter-Spring).