Janice Leong

University Scholars Leadership Symposium 2015

The 6th University Scholar Leadership Symposium (USLS) took place in Hong Kong this year. Students on the Global Leaders Programme were given the opportunity to represent Coventry University in the high profile international conference.

The USLS is an international leadership conference for outstanding individuals to gain a unique out-of-classroom learning experience that teaches students confidence, independence and the global skills required of the next generation of future leaders.

This year’s theme was ‘Enrich. Enlighten. Educate’ and in total, 873 delegates from 57 countries participated in the 6th USLS. The symposium was designed to holistically develop global-minded and forward-thinking leaders. Encountering different cultures during the symposium and providing aid to those suffering through a learning journey, enabled students to develop strong intellectual and emotional skills. Most importantly, this process helps to bring education, relief and warmth to communities in need.

noahs ark
Noah’s Ark – Home to the Ark Life Education House

This leadership symposium had a wide variety of speakers each with a unique view on the world and many different stories to tell. This symposium aimed to teach young motivated individuals that there are a variety of ways to be successful and live a purposeful life. There were so many inspirational and practical talks from high profile speakers, including:

  • Gigi Chao (Founder and Chairman, Faith in Love Foundation)
  • Chandran Nair (Founder and CEO of Global Institute for Tomorrow)
  • Dr Rosanne Wong (Executive Director, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups)
  • Geraldine Cox (President and Operator of the Sunrise Children’s Village Orphanage, Cambodia) who left her life in Australia to start an orphanage in Cambodia.

Student attendees Steven Leenaerts – MSc International Marketing, and Emilia Ilie – International Law LLB (Hons), share their experiences of the symposium:

The whole symposium experience was very professionally organised with fantastic speakers. We had the chance to network, meet new people and exchange thoughts throughout.

Besides the talks we had the opportunity to go on a learning day. I chose to participate to help in the community of Sam Ka Tseun, a fisher village. After our guided tour, we spent the afternoon teaching young children English language skills and played some games with them. We experienced a different view of Hong Kong; it was interesting to see the contrast between rich and poor and reaching out to local communities helped us to further understand the global impact we can all make.

We had a great opportunity to explore the city of Hong Kong, discovering the beautiful scenery of Victoria Peak and tasting the street food in the crowded, cosy streets of Mong Kok. We even managed to visit Tian Tan Buddha and some temples, including the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery and Che Kung temple.

Overall I would strongly recommend other students to participate in a similar Symposium, as some really valuable life lessons were learnt. This is an enriching and extraordinary opportunity for young leaders.”

– Steven Leenaerts

Helping the community of Sam Ka Tseun

This unique experience has empowered my aspirations and inspired adventurous dreams of the future. It’s made me see the world through new eyes, waking me up out of a deep slumber. The biggest achievement for me was meeting and connecting with new people.

I believe that the law of attraction really works, and that you attract people who are similar what you are or alternatively who are exactly the kind of people you need to meet. I would like to think that by joining this symposium I’ve had the chance to find my “Soul Tribe”, or the people that I was desperately looking for, the ones who vibrate on the same level as me. I have been in so many other places before, but I have never felt like this… People create the magic in the atmosphere; the rest is all just a matter of background and circumstances.

Attending the USLS helped me develop both my Global Thinking and my Leadership Skills. Working within a cross-cultural environment opened my eyes to inter-cultural competency, and gave me a new global awareness. Word are not enough to thank you, USLS, for the precious time I have spent beside the most brilliant and empowering minds.”

– Emilia Eliza Ilie

The  USLS Closing Ceremony
The USLS Closing Ceremony 2015

Next year’s symposium will be held in Vietnam and the theme will be
“Inspiring Individuals, Transforming Communities”. If you are interested in attending a future symposium through the GLP Programme, then please contact the GLP team

*Introductory content adapted from an article by Steven Leenaerts