For students

We run student leadership programmes that develop your ability to cross boundaries.

Students on a programme in Hong Kong

Students engage in experiential learning

Most students today recognize that their future achievements will be informed by more than just their academic credentials. The most successful, employable graduates are the ones who can think, learn and adapt in ambiguous spaces and in different cultures.

Students on a programme in Trinidad and Tobago

That’s why we deliver student leadership programmes that specialize in Cross-Boundary Leadership. We believe that leaders who can cross boundaries are important. They are better at working with people from different backgrounds—geographies, generations, specializations, sectors, and beliefs—in order to solve complex problems. Employers want to hire them. And society needs them to solve big global challenges.

Students present ideas at a programme in Belo Horizonte

Some of our leadership programmes are globally focused: where you will work within a diverse group of local and international students to develop Cultural Intelligence (CQ)—the ability to cross divides and thrive in multiple cultures. Other programmes are locally focused: connecting you with local organizations and employers in order that you better understand how your city works.

Student graduates in Brighton

So far, thousands of students have benefitted from our leadership programmes, joining an alumni network of students who can more effectively create change in the world around them—at university, in their cities and in their future careers.

Apply for a programme

Study Abroad

We take students abroad for an intense leadership experience. Students get beneath a new city and develop Cultural intelligence in the process. These programmes are only open to students invited by their university.

Global Leader Experiences

One hundred students from a minimum of 25 countries work together over four days to tackle real global challenges and develop their Cultural Intelligence.


33Sixty is a leadership programme that equips aspiring Commonwealth leaders (aged 18-30) with the skills and the networks to make a difference, now. for more information on 33Sixty click here


Students connect with real world leaders and go behind the scenes at local organizations. By learning how to lead change in their city, they more prepared for life after graduation.

Scotland Student Project 

The Common Purpose Scotland Student Project is an annual series of leadership development programmes for students studying across Scotland, bringing together a consortium of stakeholders who all have a passion for internationalising young leaders in Scotland.

Our impact

Common Purpose changed the trajectory of my life
Dominic Akandwanaho, Student, Harvard University

"This has been wonderful overall. I have been challenged and inspired equally. I feel more prepared than ever before to launch my ideas into the world!"

University students discuss the impact of their Common Purpose programme
Riley McAuliffe, University of Melbourne, Participant, Global Leader Experience Glasgow 2014

“It has changed my perspective and priorities in ways I could have never anticipated. Cultural Intelligence, and my desire to continue to improve my own CQ, has influenced every decision I have made since the programme.”