Thank you for your interest in Global Encounters Camps! You may have lots of questions about our programme.  We encourage you to learn more by exploring our website or by reading through these FAQs, which are updated regularly.  If you don’t find your answer here, feel free to contact your Jurisdiction Coordinator or our team at [email protected].

About Global Encounters

Global Encounters is a new Institution established by Mawlana Hazar Imam that brings together the legacy international programmes, Jubilee Games, Global Encounters Camps, Jubilee Arts, Heritage Journeys and many more new initiatives that nurture arts, sports and talent development in the global Jamat. Global Encounters unites and elevates the Jamat through transformational experiences and programmes. 
 

About the Programme

What will I learn and do at Global Encounters Camps?
Global Encounters Camps focus on service learning, cultural exchange, and leadership development. During the programme: participants will learn from reputable professionals, foster meaningful relationships with Ismaili youth worldwide, broaden their perspectives in thought-provoking and challenging sessions, lead and participate in community service projects, gain cultural competencies, and explore what it means to be a global citizen. This is the only programme currently open to Ismaili participants from all around the world and, as such, offers youth an opportunity to explore faith and ethics while living in a global camp community.

What is the participant experience like at Global Encounters Camps?
We know that every experience is different depending on the participant. We hope that each participant will leave having experienced a new culture, formed deep friendships with peers from around the world, participated in a meaningful service project, grappled with some of the challenging issues facing our planet, and had an opportunity to learn and practice leadership.

What is the participant-to-staff ratio at the camp?
To help meet our objectives and create an optimal learning environment, we believe giving each participant attention, care, and resources is essential to help them develop to their full potential. Our participant-to-staff ratio is kept exceptionally low at 8 participants for every facilitator, and participants have plenty of opportunities to engage regularly with mentors and faculty.

What is the advantage of being located at the Aga Khan Academies and Aga Khan University?
Global Encounters Camps is planned collaboratively with the Aga Khan Academies, the Aga Khan University, and the Aga Khan Councils in Kenya, India, and Pakistan. The Aga Khan Academies and Aga Khan University are globally recognised centres of excellence with state-of-the-art facilities. Through these partnerships, participants can take advantage of the exceptional teachers, staff and campuses while exploring local culture and life. Participants learn about the extraordinary work of the AKDN through hands-on experiences.

When will the Global Encounters Camps take place?
2023 Global Encounters Camps:

  • Global Encounters India, hosted at the Aga Khan Academy in Hyderabad from 24th June to 19th July 2023
  • Global Encounters Kenya, hosted at the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa from 14th July to 8th August 2023
  • Global Encounters Pakistan, hosted at the Aga Khan University (Karachi) from 22nd July to 17th August 2023
  • Global Encounters Expedition Camps in East Africa and South Asia from 18th December 2023 to 4th January 2024

Please note that additional locations may be added, and dates may change.

Can you share a sample camp day schedule?
Each day at the camp may look a little different. Below is a sample schedule for what a typical day may look like at camp (daily timings may vary):

What are the main differences between Global Encounters Camps and CONNECT?
During the pandemic, the Global Encounters Camps team designed a global virtual camp called CONNECT in partnership with Aga Khan Youth and Sports Boards and the Aga Khan Development Network. Since 2020, CONNECT has reached nearly 2,500 participants who have developed bonds with their peers worldwide.

There are similarities between the two programmes. Please see the table below for an overview of both programmes:

Area Global Encounters Camps CONNECT
Duration 14, 23, and 25 days, on-site (depending on location) 7 days, virtual
Participant Numbers (exp) 40 to 65 participants per camp 750 participants
Content Focus

Global Encounters Camps are focused on service learning, cultural exchange, and leadership development.

During the programme, participants will learn from reputable professionals, foster meaningful relationships with Ismaili youth worldwide, broaden their perspectives in thought-provoking and challenging sessions, lead and participate in community service projects, gain cultural competencies, and explore what it means to be a global citizen.

CONNECT offers opportunities for youth to make friends from around the world, engage in cultural exchange, learn new skills, explore the AKDN, collaborate on creative projects, dialogue about current issues, and build for the future.

CONNECT has a focused approach on thematic areas, including:

  • Climate Change
  • Entrepreneurship and Technology
  • Health and Wellness
  • Arts and Culture
AKDN Engagement In our camps, AKDN projects within the host country will be spotlighted. In Kenya, we highlight the work of the AKF Madrasa Programme, AKFED, AKHS, and AKU. In CONNECT, we see the world without boundaries and incorporate virtual field trips to various countries showcasing work relevant to the theme of the camp.

Can participants use the camp to accumulate school credit?
The classes participants take at Global Encounters Camps cannot be used to gain official school credits. However, the camp curriculum will provide participants with a foundation in international development, leadership skills, and local culture and history that participants can use as a springboard to pursue their interests once they are back at school. Opportunities may include working with faculty to present their experiences to peers, creating new service projects, taking similar courses and leading outreach events.
Every participant will receive a certificate showing they have completed the programme and earned service hours which may be used to fulfil participation requirements at their respective secondary school. Credit is contingent on approval by the participant's school.

What is the language requirement for Global Encounters Camps?
The language of instruction for Global Encounters is English. Participants will be required to have proficiency in the English language.

Will participants be attending Jamatkhana every day?
We will have a prayer space on campus, and congregational services will be held daily. We will also have the opportunity to tour local Jamatkhana spaces in the host country at times outside prayer time.

What will the food be like during camp?
Three meals and two snacks are served every day. The menu will be influenced by the local region and rotates daily. We make sure that there are nutritious options at every meal. Whether you are an adventurous or more conservative eater, we ensure that there is something for everyone.  Mealtimes allow participants to come together with people from diverse traditions at one table.

If selected to participate in Global Encounters, how much time should I allocate to camp?
Pre-camp: Following your acceptance as a participant, you are strongly recommended participating in the pre-programme webinars. You will also have to complete any pre-assigned readings to get oriented to the context and content of the Global Encounters Camp within which you get placed. Lastly, you'll also be responsible for ensuring you complete all the requirements to travel to the Global Encounters Camp, including but not limited to booking your flight, acquiring visas, and providing a complete vaccination record.

During camp: Our July programme is approximately 3 weeks, and our December programme is an estimated two weeks on-site in the host country.
Where can I find more information on Global Encounters Camps, health and safety protocols, and the application process?
You can learn more about the Global Encounters Camps by visiting our website at the.ismaili/globalencounters/camps or follow us on Instagram @globalencounters. We will be holding information sessions soon. More information will be posted on our website and Instagram.
 

Application Process

When is the application deadline for Global Encounters Camps in 2023?
Participants: The application deadline is 22 January 2023 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time (Vancouver Time). We will not accept forms submitted after the deadline. A fully completed application consists of a participant form, a parent/guardian form, and a teacher/mentor recommendation form.

How long does it take to complete the Global Encounters Camps Participant application?
The amount of time required to complete the application varies from one participant to another. You are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to start the application early to carefully think through and reflect on your responses. Starting early also helps ensure your parent and teacher/mentor references have enough time to submit their responses.

Can I participate in Global Encounters Camps if I attended CONNECT?
Yes, you may participate in Global Encounters if you have attended CONNECT before. To learn more about the similarities and differences between the two programmes, please check out each programme’s page on the.ismaili/globalencounters/camps.

How can I apply to Global Encounters Camps?
Applications are available online at globalencountersprogramme.org. If you have previously applied to Global Encounters Camps, CONNECT, or the eChess tournament, you can SIGN IN to your account using your email address and password. If this is your first application, please SIGN UP for an account. Once on the site, complete all the steps for your respective application. All interested applicants who have access to the internet should apply online. In special cases where internet access is unavailable or limited, applicants can contact their Jurisdiction Coordinator and request paper applications.

What is the profile of a Global Encounters Camps participant?
Global Encounters seeks passionate students enrolled in secondary education. Applications are open to students between the ages of 15 years old to 18 years old by 1 June 2023. Eligible applicants must be high-school students. Highly motivated and engaged students interested in service, leadership, and international development are encouraged to apply. Participants must speak English with proficiency.

How many participants will be admitted to the 2023 Global Encounters Camps?
We are exploring various group sizes that promote a positive and transformative participant experience. We are working with our host sites to determine the capacities of each site. We look forward to welcoming around 300 participants to our East Africa and South Asia camps.

Is admission to Global Encounters Camps guaranteed upon application submission?
Global Encounters Camps is a competitive international youth programme. Due to the overwhelming number of applications received, admission is NOT guaranteed upon application submission. Once you have submitted your complete application, it will undergo review by an independent panel. The Global Encounters Camps Admissions Team will share a formal letter with you in April with your application status. Feel free to use the “Contact Us” feature on the registration portal if you have any questions or email [email protected]. We encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible.

Will there be any sessions to assist us with completing the application form?
Yes! We will host various sessions that will share information on completing an application and sharing the experiences of volunteers and participants. We will communicate the dates and locations of these sessions on our website (the.ismaili/globalencounters/camps) and our Instagram page (@globalencounters).

Who can I ask to be a teacher/mentor recommendation to support my application?
Please ensure that the person you have chosen as your reference can speak about you personally and academically. You can ask a coach, mentor, teacher, or STEP teacher to serve as your recommender.

Are there multiple forms to complete and submit for a participant form to be reviewed?
Yes, there are multiple forms to fill out while completing the application for Global Encounters Camps. You will find all the forms required within the application package, including the parent/guardian form and teacher/mentor recommendation form. All forms should be submitted by 22nd January 2023. You can track the submission of all forms on your dashboard at globalencountersprogramme.org.

I attended an in-person Global Encounters Camp previously as a participant. Can I apply to participate in the 2023 Camps as a participant?
We are glad to hear about your positive experience at a Global Encounters Camp! Unfortunately, due to the minimal availability of spots, we cannot accept returning participants to Global Encounters Camps. However, please check your eligibility for the volunteer roles at Global Encounters and CONNECT, our global virtual camp.
 

Volunteering With Us

I want to volunteer at Global Encounters. Where can I apply to volunteer? Are local volunteers needed?
We are excited that you are considering a volunteer role. We are looking for professional individuals with experience and a passion for working with youth and are excited to share in participants’ journeys of learning about service, culture, and leadership.

Applications for the Facilitator role are open until 22nd January 2023 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. Please contact your local Jurisdiction Coordinator or AKYSB member and inquire about any available local opportunities. You can also email us at [email protected].

Can I volunteer at multiple Global Encounters Camps?
You can apply for volunteer positions in multiple Global Encounter Camps but can only volunteer at one camp per cycle. Please indicate your preferences on your volunteer application.

If I am selected as a volunteer, will I need to complete a criminal background check?
Yes, everyone who volunteers at Global Encounters Camps must undergo a background check and a Jamati Institutional verification check. Further details will be provided once you are accepted into the programme.


Financial Aid and Fees

What is the cost of attending Global Encounters Camps? What does the fee include?
The programme fee is $4,075 USD for July and $2,975 USD for December camps. The fee covers accommodation, insurance, in-country ground and air transport, meals, qualified staff, and an excursion. International airfare from your home country to the host country, visa fees, vaccination costs, and souvenirs are not included in the programme fee.

I am unable to afford the programme fee. Should I still complete and apply?
Yes, you are encouraged to apply to Global Encounters Camps! Admission into Global Encounters Camps is on a need-blind basis, and financial aid may be available to admitted participants that need support.

Why is income verification required for the financial aid process?
Global Encounters is committed to ensuring financial assistance is made available for qualified applicants and encourages all families to contribute to their child’s participation. Disbursements for financial aid are made through the respective National Councils in each jurisdiction. Income verification documents and/or other financial information will be requested from parents/guardians to assess financial aid qualification. Information will be kept strictly confidential, but the documents are necessary for the National Councils to impartially determine and verify a candidate’s financial needs. Documents will be requested after programme acceptance. Please note that applicants are admitted on merit, and financial need will not be a consideration for programme acceptance.


Travelling to the Camp

How are travel arrangements being made to the Global Encounters Camps?
Participants must book their travel to Global Encounters Camps on their own or may work with the Jurisdiction Coordinator to participate in group travel, if applicable. Families will be contacted after programme acceptance regarding travel and flight recommendations to the host country. Jurisdiction Coordinators will work with each family to discuss travel logistics and requirements.

My school has been scheduled to take place during Global Encounters Camps. May I leave camp early?
To maintain the highest standards of learning and a conducive environment for community-building, participants will not be permitted to arrive at camp late or leave camp early.

Can participants extend their stay after camp?
Participants will only be allowed to extend their stay if a parent or approved guardian picks them up in person on the last day of the programme. Participants will be provided more information after programme acceptance on how to seek approval for an extended stay. Extended stays must be discussed in advance with the Global Encounters Central Office.


Other Questions

How often will participants be able to communicate with families during the programme?
The schedule is very rigorous; however, time will be given to participants to communicate back home with their families multiple times per week. Directors will also be sending regular programme updates, and participants will have the opportunity to email or call home when needed.

Will I be able to bring a musical instrument to camp?
Yes, you may bring a musical instrument to Global Encounters Camps. However, your responsibility is to manage and care for your musical instrument. Additionally, ensure you comply with all regulations regarding transporting the instrument while travelling.

I have additional questions about the programme. How can I contact someone from the Global Encounters Camps Teams?
You can contact Global Encounters Camps at [email protected]. Each Jurisdiction has a Coordinator who supports applicants and participants at the country level. Please email us if you do not know who your Jurisdiction Coordinator is and would like to contact them.