Global Engagement and Leadership Experience (GELE)

Apply to GELE!

What is the Global Engagement and Leadership Experience (GELE)?

The Global Engagement and Leadership Experience (GELE) is a two-and-a-half day conference that brings together international and U.S. students to discuss and learn about aspects of global leadership. It is the perfect mix of serious conversations, engaging activities, and practical simulations.

There are two main purposes for GELE: It provides a space for diverse populations of international students and the diverse populations U.S. students to talk about cultures and think through leadership through the variety of global perspectives. Secondly, for GELE participants to positively impact the global climate at Penn State, inspiring fellow Penn Staters--future leaders--to transform themselves into globally-engaged and responsible citizens.

Who participates in GELE?

GELE accepts 40 participants total, so it is fairly competitive. The participant mix is 50% international students and 50% U.S. students from a variety of backgrounds. Student from more than 17 different countries have been represented at GELE.

Why is the information in this graph so important? Because it illustrates the welcoming and engaging environment that is created in GELE. International and U.S. students are not strangers sitting awkwardly across from one another in class. They become friends through discussions on leaders and leadership around the world; which all Penn State students will be one day.

When is GELE?

GELE is typically held twice a year, once in the fall semester and again in the spring semester. Spring 2015 marked the first time that GELE was offered to the Penn State commonwealth campuses.

  • University Park GELE: February 23-25, 2018
  • Application Deadline: Friday, February 2nd at 5:00pm

Contact with any questions.

GELE Participant Selection Process and Deadlines

The small group format is the foundation of GELE, hence, approximately 40 students are accepted each semester. The short answer responses on the application are important. We strongly recommend genuine and meaningful responses and correct spelling. GELE is based on developing all students who apply and are genuinely concerned with multinational reliability and need opportunities for leadership development in this area. It is not our goal to only select those who have held the most leadership positions or those who seem to be the "obvious" leaders. The GELE Planning Team looks for a mix of students to participate.

GELE participants include half international students and half U.S. students from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, races, ethnicities and more. Admittance to GELE is provided only to successful applicants in a competitive selection process.

By applying to Global Engagement & Leadership Experience, students set themselves up for success as future leaders who think globally. The purpose of the Global Engagement & Leadership Experience (GELE) is to bring together domestic and international students from Penn State University in a small group environment to explore cultural differences and similarities. Together, this group of leaders discusses how culture affects leadership in multinational groups, creating shared meaning and developing globally diverse perspectives. GELE participants positively influence their communities by developing tools to transform themselves into globally engaged and responsible leaders.

Apply for GELE now! The cost to participate is $25 . If you have any questions, please direct them to