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.

GELE provides a space for diverse populations of students to talk about cultures and think critically about leadership skills through the variety of global perspectives. Additionally, GELE participants will positively affect 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?

The application process is competitive, with only 40 participants accepted. The participant mix is 50% international students and 50% U.S. students from a variety of backgrounds. Students representing more than 17 different countries have participated at GELE.

At GELE, international and U.S. students are not strangers sitting awkwardly across from one another in class. They become friends through discussions about leadership around the world, which all Penn State students will be one day.

All undergraduate students are invited to participate in GELE, but they must participate with their home campus.

When is GELE?

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

Spring 2020 GELE

  • Spring GELE: Friday, February 7 - Sunday, February 9
    • University Park Campus

Application Deadline: January 19 at midnight

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 GELE. The short answer responses on the application are important. We strongly recommend genuine and meaningful responses with correct spelling. GELE is dedicated to developing all students who apply and is concerned with multinational reliability and need opportunities for leadership development. It is not our goal to select only 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.

Once accepted, there is a $25 conference fee to be paid with LionCash before participation.

We ask the following questions on the application and recommend you develop your anwsers before beginning your application:

  1. In your opinion, what does it mean to be a global citizen?
  2. Why do you want to participate in GELE?
  3. What skills do you believe you need to lead and follow in a multi-national environment?

Apply for GELE now

If you have any questions, please direct them to