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Global citizenship award

An internationally-focused leadership development program for University of Sydney students.

The Global Citizenship Award (GCA) is an extra-curricular program providing you with distinctive international and leadership opportunities to prepare you for your future as a global citizen. 

As a GCA participant you will be invited to attend a series of dynamic distinguished speaker events and practical skills development seminars around the key themes of global citizenship, leadership in an international context, and community and diversity. You’ll be supported to make the most of overseas and local student programs such as international exchange, faculty-led programs, international internships and volunteering.

Join the GCA to:

  • hear from influential leaders across a range of fields
  • strengthen your intercultural competencies
  • create meaningful international networks
  • maximise your overseas study and/or work experience
  • prepare yourself to compete in increasingly global labour markets
  • understand your role as a global citizen.

How it works

As a GCA participant you will earn points for participating in events and activities focused on one or more of the program themes from a range of local and overseas options. All GCA participants are encouraged to undertake an experience abroad during their time at the University of Sydney, however, with so many engaging, globally-focused opportunities available in and around the University, you will be able to complete the GCA without going abroad.

To complete the GCA, you will:

  • participate in six practical skills Development Seminars, including three compulsory seminars and three from the elective pool
  • attend three Influential Leaders Speaker Series events
  • achieve 100 Citizenship in Action points
  • submit your Capstone Project. 


Development Seminars

Your opportunity to learn about a range of international issues, develop practical skills and participate in group and personal reflection activities. Delivered by University of Sydney experts and external facilitators, each seminar will run for 2 -3 hours and will be delivered across a number of formats. The compulsory core program will develop a strong foundation in the key GCA program themes and electives allow you to tailor your program to your own international and professional interests. 

Influential Leaders Speaker Series

Hear from high profile leaders and learn from their experience across a number of fields. You will be encouraged to take the opportunity to ask questions at the Q&A and meet the speakers and other distinguished guests at post-address networking events. Two to three events will run each year. 

Citizenship in Action

Achieve points for experiences that provide opportunities to put the GCA themes into practice and develop your skills as an engaged global citizen. In addition to required attendance at Speakers Series and Seminars, 100 Citizenship in Action points are required for completion of the award. 

Example experiences:

  • Overseas study, internships and volunteer work (25-50 points)
  • Participation in international leadership conferences (10-15 points)
  • Participation in the MATES Abroad mentor program (15 points)
  • Acting on a board of an on-campus club or society (15 points)
  • Courses in culture and/or language (10 points)
  • Participation in globally-focused campus events (5-10 points)

For the full GCA Citizenship in Action points table, see the ‘Citizenship in Action’ folder on Blackboard (registered participants only). 

Capstone Project

In your chosen medium (essay, video, visual presentation) you will submit a short piece of work that demonstrates recognition of the outcomes gained from participation in the program. Presentation of the selected submissions will be featured at an end-of-program event and prizes awarded to top submissions. 

Semester 2, 2016 GCA Events Schedule

Global Citizenship Award Orientation

Week 4, Wednesday 17 August 2016
5.30 - 6.30pm 
Abercrombie Business School Lecture Theatre 1040

Learn about how the GCA will prepare you for your upcoming overseas study experience and the exciting opportunities available to you once you return back to Sydney. Hear from other exchange students about their experiences making the most of the opportunities available to them at the University of Sydney and be inspired ahead of your own journey.

A great opportunity to connect with other like-minded exchange students heading overseas from semester 2 and meet your fellow GCA program participants. 

Development Seminar 1: Knowing Self, Knowing Others: Developing Cultural Competence

Attend either of the following dates:

Week 6, Wednesday 31 August 2016
5:00 - 7.30pm 
Abercrombie Business School Lecture Theatre 1040

Week 6, Friday 2 September 
1.00 - 3:30pm 
New Law School Lecture Theatre 104

This seminar presented by the National Centre for Cultural Competence (NCCC) will help you develop the capacity to effectively study, work and live in cross-cultural environments. Developing cultural competence is something that can take a lifetime and requires a suite of skills that require you to understand who you are, how you see the world and how your worldview and culture impacts on your interactions with people from other cultures.

In this practical and interactive workshop you will learn what cultural competence is. You will develop skills to help you understand more about your worldview and your cultural biases and how these can impact on your ability to have meaningful cross cultural experiences. You will also develop the skills to make sense of your experiences as a global ambassador through effective critical self-reflection.

By attending this seminar you will learn key cultural competence skills which will help you maximise the learning opportunities provided by your overseas study experience.   

Development Seminar 2: Global Ambassadors Seminar

Attend either of the following dates:

Week 9, Tuesday 20 September 2016
5.00 - 7.00pm 
Abercrombie Building (Business School) Seminar Room 3020

Week 9, Thursday 22 September 2016
1.00 - 3.00pm 
New Law School Seminar Room 444

Presented by University of Sydney graduate and entrepreneur, Natasha Munasinghe and the 2015 NSW Young Australian of the Year Melissa Abu Gazaleh, the Global Ambassadors development seminar is designed to prepare you as confident communicator and ambassador for your country and University in advance of your upcoming international exchange. 

Building upon the cultural competencies learnt through Development Seminar 1, this 2 hour seminar will help you to understand what it means to be a successful Global Ambassador. The program will empower you to identify your strengths and skills and give you the opportunity to develop and practice key networking and communications tools to maximise the opportunities available to you throughout your exchange.

You will have the opportunity to hear from other successful students about their own international study experiences and how these have facilitated internship, research and work experience opportunities as well as life-long friendships.

By attending the Global Ambassadors seminar, you are ensuring that you are maximizing the opportunities for yourself from your exchange experiences.

Development Seminar 3: Indigenous Australian Identities Movie Night and Discussion

Date and time TBC (scheduled after exams)
Presented in conjunction with the National Centre for Cultural Competence

A well-developed understanding of Indigenous Australian culture is important as you embark on a period of time living amongst other world cultures. Being informed and able to have meaningful conversations as you meet people interested in our history as a nation will be vital for your role in sharing stories of Australian values and identity. This film night is designed to provide you an insight into modern Australian identities and facilitate discussion between academics in the Indigenous Australian identity space.

To find out about upcoming GCA activities, see the ‘Speaker Series’ and ‘Seminars’ folders on Blackboard (registered participants only). 

Get involved

In 2016, all students nominated to participate in exchange or short-term overseas programs are invited to join the Global Citizenship Award pilot program. Please register your interest here.

From 2017, we look forward to welcoming all University of Sydney students interested in global citizenship and leadership development to join the program. If you are not currently involved in an exchange or short-term overseas program but would like to be involved in the Global Citizenship Award from 2017, express your interest now.