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The Year On EXPERIENCE

Make this year count

You’ll begin by setting out to one of our international locations to volunteer and immerse yourself in a new culture. Once you return from abroad, you’ll head to San Francisco where you’ll explore your interests, work with coaches, and build a portfolio of work. Finally, you’ll put your skills to the test—set out into the real world to pursue your passion with a team of coaches and peers supporting you every step of the way.

Explore our three phases

EXPLORE

Discover your world

10 Weeks | Abroad

Step outside your comfort zone, break your preconceived notions of self, community and the world, and gain a deeper sense of empathy and cultural sensitivity.

Where you'll go

Mérida, Mexico

Mérida is the starting point for a series of journeys into Yucatán and its archaeological treasures. It’s also a thriving town with plenty of good eats, bustling markets, music, dance, peaceful streets, and parks. Mérida offers a small, safe community setting with a wide range of service learning projects available. This location is great if you already know some Spanish and are looking to improve your language ability.

Service Learning Projects

Teach English

Work in a local school or community center serving children from disadvantaged backgrounds. You’ll work alongside teachers to create and deliver English lessons.

Care for Disabled Children or Adults

Work in an orphanage or daycare for disadvantaged children, or in a center for people with disabilities, bringing energy, love, and manpower to help local staff.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Provide labor to sustain local conservation efforts, as well as energy and new perspectives to help educate locals about environmentally sustainable practices.

CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION

Shoddy infrastructure is one of Mérida’s biggest problems. Volunteers bring energy and manpower to help beautify and restore buildings serving Mérida’s poor.

NGO: FOOD BANK

Work at a local food bank receiving, controlling, organizing and helping hand out food that comes in, or work on business-related work like public relations, fundraising and marketing.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Drive change across the Yucatán. Work with the Mexico field team and executive teams on a variety of remote and local projects.

Dharamsala, India

Perched in the misty highlands beneath the Himalayas, Dharamsala is a market town, lush farmland, and spiritual retreat all in one. The area is influenced by Tibetan Buddhism; the Dalai Lama resides in the next town over. In contrast to the bustle and crowds of most Indian cities, Dharamsala serves as a serene retreat where you can meditate, practice yoga, and make a difference in the community while exploring northern India.

Volunteer Projects

Teach English

Volunteer in schools and/or independent after school programs teaching English speaking, reading and writing to schoolchildren.

Caregiving

Work in the village daycare centers setting up games, teaching songs, playing and engaging in other activities that develop children’s social skills and creativity

Youth Development

Make daily visits to the city’s slums to deliver nutritious meals and develop educational activities and games for street children.

Women’s Empowerment

Teach English, IT or job skills to rural women while seeing the problems they go through in their day-to-day lives firsthand.

Teach Computer Skills

Teach basic computer skills to students of all ages in small independent groups or schools.

Construction & Renovation

Clean classrooms and create murals in village daycares and schools to create bright and cheerful learning spaces.

Bali, Indonesia

Bali is a tropical island paradise with white sand beaches, rice paddies, coral reefs, lush jungle, and volcanic mountains. You’ll stay in a small remote fishing village where you’ll interact with the local community and culture daily through your volunteer activities. In your free time, you can make the most of the warm weather, friendly locals, and laid-back lifestyle by exploring ancient temples, taking a yoga class, or hiking waterfalls.

Volunteer Projects

Teach English

Teach village children conversational English so they have the tools they need to enter into the tourism workforce in the future.

Teach Computer Skills

Teach students computer skills such as using the Internet, email, and basic computer software.

Music & Dance

Introduce new music to kids; song lyrics help kids learn English while dance routines teach coordination, rhythm and flexibility.

Arts & Crafts

Help kids connect with their imagination by teaching arts and crafts classes to local children.

Sports

Provide sports and games to children so they can develop greater individual confidence while working in a team environment.

Huanchaco, Peru

Huanchaco is a quaint and relaxed beach town on the coast of northern Peru with a history dating back to the original Peruvian civilizations. Once the home to indigenous fishermen, it is now a World Surfing Reserve known for its traditional reed fishing boats, long calm waves for surfing, and ceviche. The surrounding area is still in need of much development and you can assist in a variety of volunteer projects.

Volunteer Projects

Teach English

Lead basic English classes in local schools with the help of another volunteer.

Care for Disabled Children

Assist special needs teachers with physiotherapy, teach music or IT, or provide assistance in the classrooms.

Youth Development

Work with kids at a children’s home for boys, an educational day center in a shantytown, or a skate ramp and after school program.

Women’s Empowerment

Meet with women, offer classes or training in income-producing crafts, give workshops on women’s rights with the Comedor women’s group.

Environmental Protection & Education

Work at a dog refuge center providing care to abandoned dogs, or help educate residents and perform sustainability projects.

Teach Music

Teach children how to play musical instruments, give music development classes and participate in the youth orchestra at the city’s only public music school.

Moshi, Tanzania

Sitting in the shadow of Africa's tallest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, Moshi is a small, clean, and vibrant market town. Tanzania's natural beauty is easily accessible from Moshi; you can go on safaris, visit nearby national parks, go mountain climbing, or check out the local hot springs and waterfalls. The city itself is low-key and provides a safe environment to volunteer with locals from the Maasai and Chagga tribes.

Volunteer Projects

Care for Disabled Children

Assist local workers in providing care, meals and activities for handicapped kids while their parents work.

Youth Development

Volunteer at the juvenile jail or work at shelters for street kids providing care, help with homework, or lead recreational activities.

Environmental Conservation

Work in the local tree nursery growing trees to help fight deforestation, land fragmentation and desertification.

Teach Computer Skills

Teach advanced students (typically 12 to 15 years old) and teacher basic computer skills such as word processing and how to use the Internet or email.

A Typical Day

7:00am

Wake Up

8:00AM

Breakfast

9:00AM

Service
Learning Project*

1:00PM

Lunch

2:00PM

Service
Learning Project*

5:00pm

Coaching Call

7:00pm

Dinner

8:00pm

Free Time

*Depending on your service learning project, you may volunteer in the mornings only, afternoon only, or a combination of both. Most fellows volunteer for 20-25 hours per week. When you’re not volunteering, you’ll spend time on program reflections, blog posts, and challenges intended to push you outside of your comfort zone and make the most of your time abroad. Weekends are left open to reflect and explore.

What You’ll Learn

Independence

Have the freedom to direct your own life and learning.

COMMUNITY

Be a part of and engage with a new community.

EMPATHY

Increase awareness and respect for people different from yourself.

ADAPTABILITY

Learn to thrive in a new environment.

REFLECTION

Observe and reflect on your experiences

IMPACT

Work alongside other volunteers to help make a positive change in the world.

What you’ll gain

INDEPENDENCE

Have the freedom to direct your own life and learning.

COMMUNITY

Be a part of and engage with a new community.

EMPATHY

Increase awareness and respect for people different from yourself.

ADAPTABILITY

Learn to thrive in a new environment.

REFLECTION

Observe and reflect on your experiences

IMPACT

Work alongside other volunteers to help make a positive change in the world.

FOCUS

Learn what you want to learn

10 WEEKS | SAN FRANCISCO

Head to San Francisco and meet the rest of your cohort. Spend the next 10 weeks focused on what you want to learn. Grow. Stretch. Fail. Learn how to learn. Build on your strengths, identify your weaknesses, and create your own definition of success.

The Year On Community

During your stay in San Francisco, you’ll live with other Year On fellows, forming a fun, powerful learning community. You’ll live in our Year On dorm and work every day at our co-working space in SoMa, the heart of San Francisco’s startup world.

Coaching

Your Coach will be there for you throughout the program. Coaches help set long-term goals and break them into actionable chunks. Your coach focuses on you as a person—because we understand that your ability to be successful doesn’t just depend on the content you learn, but also on your work habits, mindset and physical and mental well-being. 

Direction Finding

While you’re here, you’ll spend lots of time focused on what’s next. We’ll bring in speakers from all different career paths, host networking events and help you explore your interests so you can discover where you want to go—and how to get there.

Projects & Portfolio Development

We focus on projects so you can apply your learning in a real world context, learn how to bring something through the creation process (from imagination to completion), and have the space you need to make something amazing. Your project will serve as the beginning of a portfolio of work that you can take with you into college.

Work Sprints

Work Sprints provide an opportunity to work together to bring something to life in 48 hours. You’ll discover what you can create when the pressure’s on, and learn to stop worrying about perfection. You’ll cut corners, execute on your work, stay up late, and, at the end of the sprint, present what you’ve created to the others.

Professional Advising

Year On has a network of professionals who are excited to help you grow and pursue your interests. Advisors are industry experts who can help you explore your professional field of interest—what skills it takes to succeed, what types of jobs exist, and the best way to pursue your interests.

FOCUS

Learn what you want to learn

10 WEEKS | SAN FRANCISCO

Head to San Francisco and meet the rest of your cohort. Spend the next 10 weeks focused on what you want to learn. Grow. Stretch. Fail. Learn how to learn. Build on your strengths, identify your weaknesses, and create your own definition of success.

The Year On Community

During your stay in San Francisco, you’ll live with other Year On fellows, forming a fun, powerful learning community. You’ll live in our Year On dorm and work every day at our co-working space in SoMa, the heart of San Francisco’s startup world.

Coaching

Your Coach will be there for you throughout the program. Coaches help set long-term goals and break them into actionable chunks. Your coach focuses on you as a person—because we understand that your ability to be successful doesn’t just depend on the content you learn, but also on your work habits, mindset and physical and mental well-being. 

Direction Finding

While you’re here, you’ll spend lots of time focused on what’s next. We’ll bring in speakers from all different career paths, host networking events and help you explore your interests so you can discover where you want to go—and how to get there.

Projects & Portfolio Development

We focus on projects so you can apply your learning in a real world context, learn how to bring something through the creation process (from imagination to completion), and have the space you need to make something amazing. Your project will serve as the beginning of a portfolio of work that you can take with you into college.

Work Sprints

Work Sprints provide an opportunity to work together to bring something to life in 48 hours. You’ll discover what you can create when the pressure’s on, and learn to stop worrying about perfection. You’ll cut corners, execute on your work, stay up late, and, at the end of the sprint, present what you’ve created to the others.

Professional Advising

Year On has a network of professionals who are excited to help you grow and pursue your interests. Advisors are industry experts who can help you explore your professional field of interest—what skills it takes to succeed, what types of jobs exist, and the best way to pursue your interests.

A Typical Week

Each week of the Focus phase is broken out into a topic area. We combine individual project work, group accountability check-ins, life skills workshops, and a Friday Review that brings the community together to tie up a busy week.

M

T

W

T

F

Morning
Workshop

Self-directed Learning

Workshop

Goal Setting

Workshop

Self-evaluation + Reflection

Workshop

Introduction to Financial Habits

Workshop
NOON

Weekly Community Meeting + Lunch

Fellow Lunch

Fellow Lunch

Fellow Lunch

Fellow Lunch

AFTERNOON

Coaching & Individual Project Work

Individual & Group Activity: Goal Setting

Individual Project Work

Individual + Group Activity: Budget Development

Individual Project Work & End of Week Review

EVENING

Team Stand-up

Team Stand-up

Adulting 101:
How to cook a meal

Team Stand-up

Community Dinner

*Note: the weekly schedule and workshops are subject to change and vary from cohort to cohort.

Launch

Make it real

12 WEEKS | SAN FRANCISCO

Now it’s time to take the next step. Pursue your passion in whatever form works for you—take a class, volunteer, land an internship. No matter what you do, your Coaches and peers will be your support system, every step of the way.

Our past Fellows have done it all

During the Launch phase, you will apply everything you learned during the Explore and Focus phases to the real world, with your Coach and community of Fellows there to have your back. You can work on a project, complete an internship, take a class, or go to bootcamp.

Allison B., 2016 Fellow
Launch: Fjord, Artist in Residence | San Francisco

At Fjord, my initial job description was, “Interaction and Service design Associate”. However, my in-house name transitioned to the Fjord Artist in Residence. I’ve had the opportunity to work with big clients — they’re impressive — and for the past three months I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by different designers, all of them great at what they do. I sit in on meetings with clients and I am starting to have a firmer understanding of design thinking— literally, the way designers think. Most importantly, I’ve been able to try different design roles within Fjord to see which one I really take a liking to.

Lauren M., 2017 Fellow
LAUNCH: Bootcamp, UX/UI | Toronto

During my time in Launch, I spent my time working on logos and packaging design while learning more about the startup and tech scene. For my internship, I needed some experience and something to focus on, instead of the broad spectrum of graphic design. So I found a bootcamp in Toronto called Brainstation. Brainstation’s full-time UX program is a 10 week immersive course in which students learn everything from the strategy and planning behind designing an app or website to the UI. We learned mainly by doing instead of listening to lectures. By the end of the program, we all presented our own app concept that we had created as our final project.

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