Story posted November 08, 2012
For another year, the McKeen Center will be offering first, second and third year students at Bowdoin the opportunity to pursue summer volunteer and public service projects outside of the United States. The Global Citizens Grant program aims to support student projects that are independently designed, and allow the student to focus on providing direct service in local communities. For eight to ten weeks, applicants immerse themselves in foreign cultures from which they broaden their international perspectives. Working with grassroots organizations, students have the opportunity to make a significant service contribution to the foreign communities in which they work, and are expected to share that new perspective with the Bowdoin community upon their return.
"I learned that service doesn't need to be a struggle—when people and communities have fun, they can do amazing things." – Lucy Walker '14
Grants of $2,500 will help cover the costs of travel and living expenses for the eight to ten week period. Applicants may affiliate themselves with an existing organization in-country, but grants will not pay the cost of joining an international "service trip," "voluntourism," or other related endeavor that requires a purchase to participate. Students on financial aid as determined by the Student Aid Office may apply for an additional earnings replacement stipend.
"They welcomed me into their lives, invited me to join their games, taught me about their culture, and opened a place for me in their hearts." – Julie Bender '13
Grant recipients have dedicated themselves to work on an array of projects including: education, sustainable agriculture, healthcare, disability and elder rights, microfinance, and poverty issues in rural and urban communities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. These international experiences have dramatically impacted our grant recipients' academic programs and helped to shape their career plans. Through orientation and group meetings, grant recipients create a cohort of students who offer one another support before and after their experiences abroad.
"After spending a couple months working for an international nonprofit, I am now set on finding a job that allows me to do something similar. For me, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing the hard work pay off in the form of smiling people who truly appreciate all the effort and work put into a project." –Emma James '13
Join the McKeen Center, Student Fellowship & Research, and the Career Planning Center for a Funded Internship Info Session, Tuesday, January 29 from 7:30-8:30pm in Main Lounge.
"Working with Teach Huaraz Peru has helped me focus my interest in environmental issues and sustainability, a field I hope to pursue in the future. I maintain my ties by contributing to their webpage and social media sites, helping them attract more volunteers and develop their outdoor education and wilderness therapy programs."
— Ben Richmond '13