The 4th Annual Global Student Leadership Summit was held during the 6th Diversity Abroad Conference on April 7-10 in Miami, FL. This year, we welcomed our largest cohort yet -- almost 70 students representing 40 different colleges and universities across the U.S. GSLS students studied abroad in countries including Cyprus, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, South Korea, Costa Rica, and Germany, and we were excited to host a new crop of diverse global leaders for another year of reflection, growth, and community building.
GSLS provided a necessary space for diverse study abroad alumni to find community in one another while unpacking their experiences abroad. Our event kicked off with an inspiring Keynote Address by FIU’s Vice President of Engagement, Saif Ishoof, who told students about his own life’s work and his commitment to serving the larger Miami community. Saif’s words gave students the energy boost to kick off a packed day one.
Over the course of nine unique sessions, students delved into three days of discussion:
Day one was focused on internal reflection. Students began GSLS by designing personal “Life Maps” to contextualize what has led them to this point in the present, and what informs their goals for the future. During “Your Diversity Abroad”, students ‘sounded-off’ on their time abroad, and shared ideas about ways they would improve the student experience abroad. Day one wrapped with a discussion on the intercultural competencies developed abroad, and how that aligns with one’s leadership skills.
For the first time, GSLS students connected with FIU Upward Bound students from local Miami high schools. These high school students learned more about global programs before meeting our GSLS students for a game of “Get to Know You” BINGO. The prizes included two ‘swag bags’, and two brand new passports to encouraging the high school students to go global as early as possible!
Day two was all about career development. The day started with a series of sessions focused on personalized resume feedback, post-graduate opportunities such as fellowships or teaching abroad, and a conversation about confirm their desired career path. Students then heard from a panel of professionals before listening to their peers share their stories during the Welcome Luncheon panel for all conference attendees. GSLS students closed day two with a Career Reception to learn more about potential employment opportunities. This reception featured the Peace Corps, Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Program, Monterey Institute for International Studies (MIIS), PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC), and USAID Global Health Fellows.
The third and final day of GSLS was focused on next steps. Students learned about making the transition from college to career, and closed ‘paying it forward’ and making an impact in their communities.
It was an honor to once again host a unique re-entry opportunity for diverse students at universities and colleges across the country. We look forward to hosting another cohort of incredible, diverse student leaders for GSLS 2019 in Boston, MA from March 2-5!