Global Leadership & Engagement in Silicon Valley

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GLE Participants


Program Dates: Summer 2017 (exact dates TBD)
Open to: University students (18 and older) & starting professionals from Asia
Location: San Francisco, California
Application Deadline: Spring 2018

Applications for the 2018 spring GLE Program will open in September.

The Global Leadership & Engagement (GLE) program will convene students from across Asia to learn and share their perspectives on pressing global challenges. During this immersive experience, participants will visit innovative organizations tackling complex social issues, join exciting workshops to develop leadership skills and design a website to share with their community.





To get a better idea of the program’s daily activities, view our February 2015 GLE program schedule below: GLE schedule example


Program fee for GLE Silicon Valley includes:

  • Accommodation
  • Transportation for program activities
  • Most scheduled activities
  • Arrival lunch
  • Graduation dinner

Total: $3100

Costs NOT included in the program fee:

  • Airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Daily meals
  • Optional activities
  • Personal shopping expenses


Kyoto University – John Mung Scholarship – Kyoto University students only:
If you are applying from Kyoto University, you have an opportunity to receive a scholarship to join VIA’s programs through the John Mung Program. The application deadline for the John Mung Program is December 2nd. After you pass the selection process by Kyoto University, please submit your VIA application by December 12th. A phone or Skype interview will be arranged shortly after December 12th.

Enlight Fellowship: Successful applicants for this fellowship will receive a $1000-2000 award towards the program tuition. Click here to learn more about scholarship opportunities.

Refer a Friend Award: We’d love to know if you have friends or siblings/relatives who you think would be a great match for the GLE program. If you and someone you recommend is accepted to the program, you will receive a $100 award that will be applied to your program fee.

GLE Testimonial Yocky

“I felt I woke up from the boring university life. It may feel unrealistic for some students to discuss social and global issues such as poverty, women empowerment, but this is the time you get to feel that you are connected to this world. It’s good to be realistic, but there always need to be something that we are willing to believe in and make a change. I am not saying I am going to devote all my life on social issue, but I can do something that makes everybody better off while making a living. There are so many people fighting for different things and we are so lucky to be here.” – Yocky



GLE Testimonial Linh“During the journey I visited new organizations which are solving complex issues, met new friends and learnt new things from them almost everyday.” – Linh Read more about Linh’s journey on his website



GLE Testimonial Leo午前中に路上生活を送る人々が多くいる地区を4時間歩き回り、午後に生活を立て直したい人々がウェイター等として働き、2年で社会復帰を果たすプログラムを実行しているデランシーストリートを訪れた日がありました。 午前中、はじめはおそるおそる彼らと接していましたが、徐々に皆がそれぞれのストーリーを持っているという当たり前の事実に気づき、貧困問題に対する当事者意識に近いものを持てるようになりました。そして午後にそれに取り組む画期的なプログラムを間に受け深く感銘を受け、リーダーシップを持つ上で「共感する」ということが不可欠だということを学びました! – Leo

Application Period

  • Early October: Applications open
  • November: Information sessions in Asia
  • November 20: Round 1 deadline
  • December 7: Round 2 deadline
  • December 12: Kyoto University deadline

Application Review

  • December 7-14: Skype interviews
  • December 19-20: Successful applicants notified of acceptance

Program Preparations*

  • December 22: Participants begin pre-travel checklist
  • December 25: Payment, agreement form deadline; start visa application process, if applicable
  • January 7: Complete visa or ESTA application to travel to the US
  • January 25: Submit flight and insurance information

*Preparation activities and deadlines may be added/modified any time before the program

To see if this program is a good match, we want to know get to know you: your passion, motivation, interests and experiences! In the application, you can share about yourself [in English] in 3 sections:

  1. Background & Contact Information – Tell us some basic information about yourself and how to reach you.
  2. Deeper Questions – Share your story & show your personality through short essays OR video* by answering the following questions:
    1. Why do you want to participate in a program focusing on leadership?
    2. Which global issue (e.g., poverty, education, human rights, etc.) are you most passionate about solving?
    3. Tell us a little about your hobbies or passions, your character, and your plans for the future.
    • If you are applying for a scholarship, you MUST make a video [no more than 5 minutes]. Click here for video tips.
  3. Interview: The final step will be a 10-15 minute Skype/phone interview with the Program Director. In this application, you will be asked to reserve an interview time. If your application is selected, you will receive confirmation of your interview time shortly after the application deadline.