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APRU Undergraduate Leaders Program

Peter Cowhey, Dean of the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS), has committed to sponsor one International Studies Program student to attend the 10th APRU Undergraduate Leaders Program (formally known as APRU Undergraduate Summer Program). This fellowship will cover round-trip transportation to/from the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), and the conference registration fee.  All transportation arrangements will be made through GPS.

APRU Undergraduate Leaders Program Overview

APRU 2017

The Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) will be hosting the 10th APRU Undergraduate Leaders Program from July 1 - July 12, 2017, with the theme: "Global Challenges for New Generation in Asia-Pacific Region"

The APRU Undergraduate Leaders Program (ULP) is a program with 40-60 student leaders from multi-disciplinary fields. Generally focusing on the strengths of the host economy and university, leadership development and current relevant topics across the region, the theme of the program differs from year to year.

ULP 2017 aims to allow students from APRU member universities to:

  • Enhance the international experience of students from APRU member universities
  • Raise students’ awareness on issues affecting the globe in multi-disciplinary and multi-national contexts
  • Encourage students to reflect on how they can better fulfil their role as global citizens, and explore innovative ways to tackle the global challenges through concerted efforts

Program activities include theme-related lectures, keynote seminars, workshops, and social and cultural activities which culminate in a final project presentation summarizing their experiences throughout the program. These activities are designed to develop students’ key competencies and leadership skills while providing them with the chance to exchange and interact with other students from the Asia-Pacific region.

Eligibility and Requirements

Application for the 10th APRU Undergraduate Leaders Program is required.  Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Current International Studies major or BA/MIA student
  • Junior/Senior standing
    • Unfortunately this opportunity is not available to graduating seniors. Continuing students must enroll in the following fall quarter to qualify for APRU.
  • Major GPA:  3.5 or higher
    • Major GPA is calculated from upper division major coursework only
  • Cover letter: Please explain your interest in attending APRU Undergraduate Leaders Program and how it will contribute to your professional career goal
  • Resume
  • One letter of recommendation

Application Information and Deadline

Due Friday, March 17th, 2017 by 3:30PM

Interested applicants must apply through the International Studies Program, by completing the online application found here.

Online applications are due on Friday, March 17th, 2017 by 3:30PM. Students must also deliver a hard copy of their application (cover letter, resume, and letter of recommendation) to the International Studies Advising office by this deadline.

Note: Students with questions or concerns regarding eligibility should contact the ISP undergraduate advisor at isp@ucsd.edu

International Studies Student Experiences:

2014: Nanjing University, China

apru 2014 nanjing, china

Student: Angela Luh
Major: International Studies - Political Science

This summer, I attended the 7th annual Undergraduate Summer Program hosted by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), an organization that gathers academic institutions from the West Coast, like UCSD, and Asia to further educational, political, and economics cooperation. The conference was held at Nanjing University in China with about 40 participants.  Our daily schedule included lectures given by visiting faculty members of APRU, round-table discussions, and collaboration opportunities with other students. The last two days were dedicated to exploring the vibrant (and very hot) city of Nanjing and its rich history, preserved even in the face of increasing modernization.

Among the many things I gained from the program, the most significant was simply learning from the narratives of different students. A University of Tokyo senior shared that he expected 9 am-to-12 am work days post graduation.  My groupmate from National Taiwan University shared that Taiwan's declining economy impacted its educational system, causing an outflow of professors, and consequently students. Major Chinese universities are becoming more progressive with the inclusion of religious and LGBT student organizations, according to my Nanjing University roommate.

Gaining a broader perspective on social and cultural differences and developments in the world is an essential part of being an IS major. Knowledge of other countries' standards and how the United States could improve will benefit every IS-related career and life in general. I want to extend my appreciation to ISP and IR/PS for this great and memorable opportunity and would highly encourage students to apply to similar programs in the future.

2015: University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Student: John Chisholm
Major: International Studies - Political Science

This August, I had the opportunity to represent UCSD at the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) 8th Annual Undergraduate Summer Program (USP).  The theme of the program was: Developing Future Global Leaders of the Pacific Rim—The Different Facets of Leadership.  APRU is an organization comprised of leading universities from around the Pacific Rim, founded in order to advance cooperation and cultural exchanges between academic institutions along the Pacific Rim.  The conference was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and brought together over 50 participants from APRU universities.  My two weeks in Malaysia were a blend of workshops on leadership practices, lectures by leaders in global NGOs, businesses and development funds, and concluded with group leadership presentations by USP students.  Our program  incorporated classes in  traditional Malaysian dance and music, and, believe me, our group of delegates quickly became close friends as we stumbled through our dance steps. At the end of our program, we toured the rapidly modernizing and architecturally vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur, and had the opportunity to see how many Malaysians live in a two-day homestay in the historic city of Malacca.

The most important aspect of the APRU USP for me was the opportunity to build a global network among the inspiring and passionate students I met in my program.  A National University of Singapore student shared with me that his curriculum, South East Asian Studies, requires him to study at a different South East Asian university every semester, allowing him to constantly engage other cultures and perspectives in and outside of the classroom.  Another student runs a (very popular) “Humans of Thailand” Facebook page, curating the experiences and perspectives of Thai university students.  One of my group presentation members from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey has already begun development on a mobile app that connects blood donors to blood banks across Mexico.  Having the opportunity to connect with these types of future leaders from around the world, so early on as an undergraduate student, is an opportunity unique to the APRU USP.

My time in Malaysia underlined  for me the importance of a global perspective for our next generation of leaders.  The world will only become more global, and being able to navigate the variety of cultures, perspectives and points of view in this emerging world is essential to leading in any capacity after graduation.  For IS majors, having the opportunity to ground coursework in practical experiences, such as APRU USP, is especially vital for understanding how complex and interconnected the issues our world faces really are.  I am grateful for this opportunity and I would like to thank the International Studies Program and School of Global Policy and Strategy for sponsoring my APRU experience.  I highly encourage all ISP students to apply for the next APRU USP in Monterrey, Mexico. 

2016: Tecnológico de Monterrey, Puebla, Mexico

Student: Clara Bird
Major: International Studies - Political Science

This July I had the honor of representing UCSD at the 9th annual APRU Undergraduate Leadership Program: "INSPIRE: Next Generation of Innovators".  The program was hosted at Tecnológico de Monterrey in the beautiful city of Puebla, México. Sixty-three students participated from eleven Pacific-Rim nations including; Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, and South Korea. We attended lectures on business development, innovation/design thinking, and presentation methods as well as local art, culture, and history. We worked in teams of seven to promote local welfare through the development of business, products, service, and experiential designs.  We also explored several cultural landmarks in Puebla, nearby Cholula, and México City. Several highlights include the Teotihuacán pyramids, Museo de Antropología, and Catedral Metropolitana.  We concluded the program by presenting our social welfare solutions to the students and faculty of the APRU program as well as local business leaders, investors, and governmental officials.

This program was easily one of the most spectacular experiences of my entire academic education.  I learned an enormous amount about innovation, business development, and Mexican culture. I also learned a lot about the politics and cultures of the other nations represented in the program. Most importantly for me, though, were the friendships that I gained. This program provided an opportunity to really get to know people from all over the world. It disintegrated cultural stereotypes and replaced the impersonal concepts of polities with the warmth of friendship. I am already developing plans to visit my friends not only in Mexico, but also around the globe.  

It is exactly this level of compassion and commitment to international awareness and tolerance that the world needs more of today.  Traveling and studying abroad encourages this but a truly international workshop, like the APRU Undergraduate Leadership Program, does so on a much more expansive level. This was a truly unforgettable experience and it has inspired me to consider opportunities that, before the start of the program, I had not given serious attention to. I want to thank the International Studies Program and the School of Global Policy and Strategy for sponsoring this experience.  I highly encourage all students majoring in International Studies to apply for the program