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The Fellowship is a highly selective award given to a cohort of high school graduates who have been admitted to UNC as part of the university’s Early Action deadline. Interested students will need to answer relevant questions through the Excel @ Carolina section of the application. The Global Gap Year Fellowship provides an $8,000 stipend to each student, which may be complemented by other funding that the Fellow secures.

Made possible by anonymous gifts to the Campus Y, the Global Gap Year Fellowship provides support for students who would not otherwise be able to fund their service work. The Fellowship partners with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, which helps promote the program and select the recipients.

Program benefits

  • Mentoring and advising: Campus Y staff and students mentor Fellows before, during, and after the Gap Year. Fellows participate in an intensive summer training program prior to departing on their gap years, as well as a re-entry retreat at the beginning of their first year at Carolina. Hear what Fellows think of the Summer institute in this video!
  • Connecting with faculty: The Y helps returning Fellows bring their gap year experience home by introducing them to professors who can help them create plans for coursework or independent research. The Y also connects returning gappers to other student groups and opportunities on campus and in the community.
  • Connecting to a global and local service community: Because we strongly believe in the connection between the local and global, the Campus Y helps Fellows apply their gap year experiences to local service initiatives and supports them in exploring future global opportunities.

Fellowship Timeline
Precise dates can be found on the application page

  • By October 15, 2022: Apply for undergraduate admission to UNC-Chapel Hill through the Common Application (Excel @ Carolina). Note that only students who apply Early Action and are admitted are eligible to apply for the GGYF.
  • January – February 2023: After receiving notification of your admission to Carolina, you will also be informed about your status as a Finalist for GGYF.
  • March/April 2023
    • Selected finalists are invited to GGYF Finalist weekend at Carolina, where they meet former Fellows and complete another round of interviews.
    • The new cohort of Global Gap Year Fellows is selected and begin planning their gap years.
  • July 2023: Fellows attend a Summer Institute at UNC to learn about global engagement and finish their Gap Year proposals before embarking on their adventure abroad.
  • Gap year! At least 6 months of service.
  • August 2024: Return to UNC for your first year and attend a Re-entry retreat with your cohort.”

If awarded the GGYF, students are required to defer their acceptance to UNC-CH for one year and commit to enrolling the fall after the gap year is completed. Prior to departing, students develop an extensive gap year proposal with assistance from Campus Y staff and attend an intensive pre-departure program on campus. During the gap year, students complete a minimum of 6 months of in-depth service. They also participate in reflective writing and blogging assignments, and they maintain bi-weekly communication the program director.

To qualify for and receive a GGYF, students will need to:

  • First, apply for admission by the early action deadline of October 15 and comply with all actions required by the Admissions Office (midyear grades submission, responding to all inquiries from the Admissions Office). You will need to express interest in GGYF during the Excel @ Carolina section of the application.
  • You will be notified if you are progressing in our selection process when you receive your acceptance of admittance to UNC (in late January).
  • If selected as a GGYF, students will then enroll in the University and complete any post-admittance steps required by the Admissions Office (submission of community standards form, etc.).
  • Then, students will apply for a one-year deferral from the Admissions Office and commit to enrolling at UNC in the fall after the gap year is completed.

Before, during, and after the gap year, Fellows will be required to:

  • Complete Pre-Departure Checklist
  • Attend the GGYF Summer Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Secure approval of their Global Gap Year Proposal
  • Submit blog posts and photos while abroad (2 per month)
  • Coordinate bi-monthly check-ins with Global Gap Year Coordinator
  • Compose a Mid-Year Reflection, Proposal Updates, and an End-of-Year Reflection
  • Attend a Re-Entry Retreat upon returning to UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Create a Global Gap Year Presentation