Before Applying

The Yale Young Global Scholars Program is a very selective leadership-development program for high school students from around the world. The program is designed to bring together students with the talent, drive, energy, and ideas to make meaningful impacts as young leaders, even before they begin university studies.

Students in the program can expect to:

  • hone their abilities to think critically and flexibly;

  • engage productively with a diverse group of peers;

  • explore new and exciting ideas;

  • meet distinguished scholars and practitioners;

  • develop key communications skills.

While building a strong network of like-minded young people, YYGS emphasizes an open, exploratory, and collaborative approach to learning. The curriculum helps develop analytical thinking, intellectual flexibility, written and oral communication, and teamwork skills. Continue reading to learn about the different programming elements.

Overarching Elements

Lectures. YYGS features lectures by renowned Yale faculty and leading practitioners in their fields. Lectures are intended to expose students to a wide array of new ideas, perspectives, and exciting new research, as well as challenge them with first-year university level material.

Breakout Session. Following the lectures, instructional staff lead smaller breakout sessions (typically 10-15 students) to further explore topics related to the content of the lectures. Breakout sessions give students a more individualized opportunity to delve deeply into the topic introduced by the lecturer. Undergraduate and graduate student instructional staff facilitate conversations on the day’s lecture, and students are expected to voice their opinions, formulate thoughtful questions and responses, debate varied perspectives, and consider possible follow-up experiments.

Seminars. Seminars are interdisciplinary standalone classes (typically 10-15 students each) that are designed and taught by undergraduate and graduate student instructional staff, with assigned readings made available to YYGS participants prior to their arrival at the program. Students give their preferences for seminars in advance, and are expected to come having closely read and analyzed the assigned material.

Capstone. Over the course of the two-week program, students will also work in Capstone project groups (4-5 students each) to identify problems in a specific topic, conduct rigorous background research, and propose impactful solutions to their peers and instructors. Assignments are designed to develop critical thinking skills and encourage innovation, as well as emphasize teambuilding, analytical problem solving, and communication in a group of diverse peers. This project culminates in a group presentation at the end of the session.

YYGS Family Time. YYGS Family Time is a unique opportunity for students to meet and bond with a small group of 7-8 students, who are mentored by a YYGS instructional staff member throughout the two weeks of YYGS session. Families engage in icebreaker games, talk about the ups and downs of the program, and otherwise serve as surrogate “families.” YYGS Family time is an important building block of community at YYGS.

Talent Show. At the end of­ the session, YYGS hosts a talent show f­eaturing student participants. This is an excellent way ­for students to showcase their talents and cultural heritage.

Unique elements for particular sessions:

Simulations. Simulations are modeled on real-world events and provide opportunities for students to work in small groups to respond to evolving challenges, gain experience in crisis simulation and response, and design potential solutions to these events. Students gain insight into careers in policy-making, national security, international organizations, and reflect on the challenges of effective leadership. Each student is assigned a role within the simulation universe through which they actively participate in and shape the simulation outcome, thereby facilitating hands-on learning. This component is in the New Haven sessions only.

Speaker Series. If desired, students can audition to give a short talk on a topic of their choosing. Selected speakers will deliver their talks to a combined audience of students and instructional staff in both sessions. In this way, students have the opportunity to speak in front of an audience of almost 500 people and share their ideas and passions! This component is in the New Haven sessions only.

Research Showcase and Science & Engineering Tours. Researchers from across Yale University are invited to give short presentations on their research. This event is meant to give students rapid-fire exposure to different types of research taking place. Students will then be able to give preferences for a lab that they are interested in visiting during the Science & Engineering Tours. This component is in the ASE, FST, and BBS sessions only.

Cultural Excursions: YYGS-Beijing will lead excursions to some of Beijing’s most significant cultural sites throughout the two-week program, including the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square. These excursions provide a cultural and historical context that works in tandem with the academic curriculum to deepen students’ understanding of the country and region. This component is in the ATC session only.