Leeds KAIST International Leadership Programme

Learn more about this fully-funded international leadership programme, enabling you to develop your leadership skills by tackling issues facing governments and societies worldwide in collaboration with students from around the world.

Leeds KAIST International Leadership Programme (formerly Leeds to South Korea)

The Leeds KAIST International Leadership Programme is a fully funded opportunity to develop your ability to lead from a truly global perspective. Working collaboratively with fifteen students from KAIST University, you will play a part in tackling the biggest issues facing businesses, governments and societies worldwide.   

This programme has been developed in partnership with Common Purpose, a leadership development organisation that specialises in cross-boundary leadership. Common Purpose is a not-for-profit organisation running programmes in more than 70 cities worldwide. Previous programmes run in partnership with the University of Leeds include the Leeds to South Korea programmes in both 2019 and 2021, the Leeds KAIST International Leadership Programme in 2022, as well as the online Global Leadership Forum in November 2021, which brought together over 400 Leeds students across all levels and disciplines.  

Group photo of the 2022 cohort BENEFITS 

The programme provides you with an international experience, challenging you to adapt and thrive in a new context while establishing a genuinely global network. It equips you with the tools you need to lead change, now and in the future. During the programme you will work as part of a diverse and multi-cultural team to address challenges, developing your cultural intelligence and leadership skills in the process.   

The Leeds KAIST International Leadership Programme 2023 will allow you to develop critical employability skills, get unrivalled access to employers, further your ability to work across cultures, advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals and make long lasting friendships with students from both Leeds University and KAIST University, South Korea.  

Everyone who successfully completes a Common Purpose programme, anywhere in the world, joins the Common Purpose alumni network - a 100,000 strong, growing, global community of alumni with exceptional diversity and a huge range of skills, interests and leadership experiences.  

Upon completion of the programme, you are awarded a digital Common Purpose certificate. You also have the opportunity to demonstrate your learning by earning the embedded Inclusive Leadership micro-credential, which can be displayed on your LinkedIn profile.  


The Leeds KAIST International Leadership Programme combines theory, innovative practice and hands-on experience. You will experience a range of benefits including developing your ability to lead from a global perspective and experiential learning with and from business leaders, world leading academic researchers and fellow students. This international experience provides a real differentiator in the competitive graduate jobs market and far beyond.  

The programme will be delivered at KAIST University, South Korea, with additional industry visits providing you with the opportunity to engage with senior leaders from organisations in Daejeon.  

The programme will focus on addressing the UN Sustainability Goal 11, by answering the question “How can we ensure our cities are resilient and inclusive?”   


A Leeds Alumni has generously funded this programme. Your registration and programme fees will be covered by this donation, as well as return flights, accommodation fees, and most meals.  


The provisional dates for the 2023 Leeds KAIST International Leadership Programme can be seen below. 

Programme dates: 12 July – 19 July (with no sessions over the weekend of 15 – 16 July). 

Travel to South Korea: 10 July  

Depart from South Korea: 20 July

Please note that this schedule is subject to change.  Participants are required to commit to attending all of the days above.  


There are 15 places available to Leeds students. We are looking for students who want to gain an understanding of how to lead in multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural environments. We are not looking to recruit participants with proven leadership or international experience. The programme is open to all taught Leeds students, both UG and PG, at all levels.   

Application process 

Create a short video (up to 2 minutes in length) telling us why you want to apply for the programme.  

You can be as innovative as you like, but remember, you need to ensure that you:  

  • demonstrate that you understand the programme objectives;  

  • explain how it will benefit you personally, and;  

  • explain how your learning on the programme could be applied in your future studies or career.  

Applications for the 2023 programme will open in February 2023. 

Details of information sessions taking place in early 2023 will be released soon.

If you have any questions about the programme or the application process, please contact ugresearch@leeds.ac.uk