Global Encounters Update

March 28, 2020


Due to the current coronavirus pandemic and the unprecedented uncertainty that the next few months will bring, Global Encounters has made the difficult decision to not move forward with our July 2020 programmes.

Since our inception in 2012, Global Encounters has approached each participant's experience with keen attention to safety and security. This year is no exception. We are committed to following the advice of the global health community and are continuing to carefully monitor this evolving situation.

Notice of this decision and information about next steps has been sent to all our 2020 participant, facilitator and staff applicants. We are very aware of the disappointment that this news may bring, and want you to know that this decision was not made lightly. We also know that you may have questions, and we have tried to answer some of them below.


  • Will there be any Global Encounters programmes in 2020?

Programmes previously scheduled from June to August will not be taking place.  Safety is our number one priority. We are continuing  to monitor the situation and will update on the status of the Global Encounters Expedition programmes in the coming months.

  • Why are we not just “delaying” the start of the programme?

There are many considerations required in running multiple quality programmes of our size and duration including having access to the residential schools, service sites and visas in order to prepare and run the programmes. Given the lack of clarity around when things may improve, we have made the decision not to conduct our July 2020 programmes.

  • Will you reverse your decision when things get better?

No, due to the planning and preparations required, Global Encounters will not be reversing the decision regarding our July 2020 programmes.

  • When will a decision be made about 2020 Global Encounters Expedition programmes?

There is no current decision timeline due to the evolving situation. The Admissions team will reach out to all applicants with an update by June 2020.

  • Will my application still be reviewed?

Thank you for the time you have invested in completing your application and for sharing your passion and interests with us. We will complete a full review of all applications submitted for the 2020 cycle. If the global situation stabilises by August, we will share additional information on upcoming programmes as well as an update on the status of your candidacy.

  • Will I need to re-apply in 2021?

We will be having a full admissions cycle for the 2021 programmes. We are still working through the details regarding whether you can use your 2020 application for the 2021 cycle, and will be in a position to provide an update in June 2020.

  • This was my last year to apply, can I still be considered for upcoming programmes?

We recognise that these are unprecedented times of uncertainty. We are working through the details of the Global Encounters age and grade policy, and will be in a position to provide an update in June 2020.