Global Leader Experiences: Abroad

We take students abroad, immersing them in a major city to tackle a global challenge.

About Common Purpose Global Leader Experiences: Abroad

Our immersive and experiential learning techniques give participants a unique opportunity to:

  • grow their CQ
  • adapt and thrive in new environments
  • develop the leadership skills required to lead in complex situations
  • build new networks, locally and globally, with fellow students, contributors and leading employers
  • learn and practice the skills required to quickly understand and navigate complexity. 

University benefits:

  • Increase outbound mobility through scalable programmes.
  • Increase access to international experiences by offering short-term opportunities.
  • Grow the university brand by further building up your presence in key student recruitment markets.
  • Add value to existing university partnerships by adding a student mobility opportunity. 
Kiara Clement, University College London

“Going to China for this programme has broadened my outlook on my own life; when I came back I started noticing things that I would never usually pay attention to, I just have a different outlook on the world.”

Thomas Chard, Student, University of Exeter

“This journey has been incredible. Not only have I met great people but I learnt a lot about myself and different cultures.”

How it works

All Global Leader Experiences are structured around an annual grand challenge. The current challenge is: "How do we ensure technological innovation delivers societal as well as economic value in cities?”

Students get know each other, share insights on the challenge and begin to understand the concept of CQ.

Challenge Immersions
Students are immersed beneath the surface of the city and meet visionary leaders from different sectors and organizations – whether that’s organizations like GE, Google, Arup, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross or Pfizer. This allows the students to gain a deeper understanding of the city and explore the challenge through the lens of different organizations.

Innovation & Prototyping
Students are taken through an innovation process, with senior leaders who act as mentors. They develop innovative solutions in response to the challenge which they then test on local stakeholders and sector specialists. This presents the opportunity to observe, practise and reflect on different leadership styles, different approaches to problem solving and different ways to work within diverse groups.

Presenting Solutions
Students present their ideas to a panel of experts and city leaders who are specialists within their field. They receive on-the-spot feedback on their idea, their presentation and how they have worked as a group.

Students join an alumni network of over 80,000 leaders worldwide. Our online platform provides the opportunity of life-long learning through networking and connecting with other Common Purpose alumni through our global connect events.

Dominic Akandwanaho, Student, Harvard University, Participant, GLE Boston 2014

"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!"

Global cities

Common Purpose can deliver GLE:Abroad in 35 cities globally. A GLE: Abroad offers the option to bring in a university partner in the destination city. This can enhance existing partnerships or build new ones. It also enables local students to participate, creating a mixed peer group.

Common Purpose Global Leader Experience: China 2015

Common Purpose - Westpac Asian Exchange Scholarship Leadership Development Programme


You commission the programme for your university. This enables you freedom to choose the location, the local partner and specific dates. It also means you can engage your alumni and other stakeholders within the programme.

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Cost per student








*Most programmes are free of charge for students. Universities may on occasion and at their discretion choose to pass on costs to their students.

*Each price includes all curriculum design, project management, contributor and visit host recruitment, programme delivery and materials, staffing, staff travel and accommodation, evaluation and postprogramme alumni engagement. Please note that the above costs do not include VAT, breakfast, dinner, student accommodation, flights, visas, insurance or chaperone-incurred costs.

If you have any questions or want to find out more:

Contact Andy Coxall, Chief Executive, Common Purpose Student Experiences.