Up With People


Program Overview

September, 2004

The WorldSmart Leadership Program is an international study abroad program for individuals ages 18-29. This 19-week program offers a combination of multi-country international travel, a unique academic curriculum, host-family living, and hands-on internships to develop skills in specific professional areas such as public relations, event management, technology, and service/cultural learning.

WorldSmart promotes a curriculum that combines the theoretical study of leadership and intercultural communication with practical learning and leadership opportunities. The program is unique in that it has elements of a traditional study abroad classroom experience, a hands-on international service learning experience, and a career-oriented professional internship experience all within a single, multicultural, multi-country opportunity.

An important element of our program is the use of an online course prior to students’ arrival to Denver, Colorado, and again after the completion of the program. This online format supports students in their preparation for this unique experience by providing them with orientation materials and a chance to meet other participants and program alumni via online discussion forums. Following the tour, the online course provides students an additional forum to process their experiences, and continue to remain connected to their classmates as they integrate all they have learned into their home cultures.

 WorldSmart Leadership Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the WorldSmart Leadership Program utilize the knowledge they gained about the global community, other cultures, and themselves to facilitate positive change in their communities, their country, their workplace, and the world.  They share their global perspective with others and become agents of positive change throughout the world.

Our curriculum is focused on five key learning outcomes:  

 1.                                      Committed to a Global Perspective

Upon graduating from our program, students will possess a solid understanding of what it means to be a leader in the global community.  In addition, each will have a thorough awareness of how culture, politics, economics, and social issues differ from country to country, region to region as well as an appreciation of the global responsibilities of individuals, communities and countries in creating positive social change.  

We measure this outcome through the following ways:

a.       Demonstrating awareness of their own worldview and perspective of their native culture, politics and social issues. 

b.      Showing an awareness of the relationships of among and between countries—political, historical, and social—and the interdependence of people around the globe.  

c.       Demonstrating an understanding of the benefits of a global perspective in leadership in a world environment.  

 Competencies associated with this objective include: 

  • Global Responsibility
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Political / Historical Awareness
  • Awareness of Social Issues
  • Understanding Customs, Languages, and Communication Norms


2. Cultural Bridge Builder

Upon completion of the program, students should possess an ability to work effectively in a variety of cross-cultural team environments.

Students demonstrate their competencies in this area through the following ways:

a.       Demonstrating self-awareness with relation to roles in multicultural groups and teams; personal strengths and weaknesses; and other personal preferences.

b.      Sharing responsibilities, taking on different roles when necessary to build effective relationships with team members regardless of race, culture, or sex.

c.       Demonstrating a repertoire of skills necessary to lead culturally diverse teams.


Competencies associated with this objective include:

  • A Variety Teamwork Skills
  • Understanding Others
  • Building Relationships
  • Leveraging Cultural Diversity Through Appropriate and Effective Means
  • Flexibility & Adaptability

 3.  Catalysts and Achievers

Students who graduate from our program will have developed the skills necessary to identify, plan for, and meet goals while motivating oneself and others.

This learning outcome is demonstrated in the following ways:

a.       Demonstrating an understanding of their own leadership style/preference and ability to work with a variety of leadership styles

b.      Understanding and practicing of goal setting, action planning, and motivation on an individual and group level.

c.       Demonstrating the ability to lead others in the process of reaching specific goals.

d.      Demonstrating an awareness of the role of a leader and follower in multicultural settings.

 Competencies associated with this objective include:

  • Self-confidence
  • Achievement Driven
  • Persistence
  • Initiative
  • Optimism
  • Innovation
  • Managing Transition
  • Decision Making
  • Life Long Learner


4. Confident Communicator

Participants who successfully complete the program will gain the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with individuals and in large groups.

We measure this outcome through the following ways:

a.       Demonstrating an awareness of their personal communication style.

b.      Demonstrating the skills needed to effectively resolve conflict and build trust with others regardless of cultural differences.

c.       Demonstrate the confidence necessary to communicate effectively in a variety of situations and with multiple goals.

d.      Effectively applying cross cultural communication skills needed in both leader and follower roles.

 Competencies associated with this objective include:

  • Effective Public Speaking
  • Listening
  • Influencing and Motivating
  • Conflict Management
  • Trustworthiness
  • Promote Mutual Understanding
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Facilitating group discussion

 5. Community Contributor

Our curriculum is designed to strengthen participants’ orientation to service as well as to gain the ability to identify and effectively meet community needs.

This learning outcome is measure through the following ways:

a.       Demonstrating an awareness of the role one plays in social issues.

b.      Demonstrating the skills to work collaboratively with others to address community issues.

c.       Understanding and demonstrating the ability to mentor and develop others as part of one’s community responsibility.

d.      Knowledge of the relationship between community members and service providers in creating meaningful and lasting change.

 Competencies associated with this objective include:

  • Service Orientation
  • Conscientiousness
  • Mentoring
  • Developing Others
  • Collaboration and Cooperation
  • Problem Solving


WorldSmart Leadership Program Key Curriculum Areas

In order to achieve the objectives listed above, we carefully designed the program to provide students with five types of learning experiences that comprise our leadership curriculum.

 1.  Leadership Instruction

Students participate in over 240 hours of class instruction time throughout the semester. The instruction focuses on interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, public speaking, and leadership theory.  Trained staff facilitators, visiting professors, and guest lecturers facilitate the workshops and lectures.


The Leadership Instructional content has been developed as a compellation of five Communication courses offered at UCD and includes a collection of international resources that provide a variety of perspectives on leadership and communication theory and its applications.


The instructional approach will include readings, hands-on practice, exercises, simulations, and group discussions, guest lecturers in each city, reflective questions, and the development of a portfolio as an assessment tool.


2.  Professional Development – Internships

One of several vital components to the WorldSmart Leadership Program is the Internship component.  In the intern groups, students learn about leadership and culture through developing and carrying out key areas of the program.  Students select one of six teams for their internship experience. These multicultural teams are functional teams, facilitating various components of the program.  For example, city logistics, documentation, and regional learning are areas where students will take a lead in carrying out. Each team is headed up by one facilitator.  Students focus on one internship area throughout the 19 weeks.


The internship experience provides critical professional-level skills to students.  Our program allows students to take on significant projects in a real-world setting.  Students apply their leadership and communication skills in their internship team experience. This also provides the students the experience of working in multicultural teams. Students select one of the six teams in which to participate:


Technical Event Management Team:  This team will be responsible for documenting the travel experience through video, photography, and written work; maintenance of the website and weekly update; working with the community to generate involvement in the community Celebration Event; orchestrating/ producing the event.  This team works closely with the Cultural Event Management Team to ensure a powerful message of community pride is communicated through the various components of the event and the presentation is professional and seamless.


Cultural Event Management Team:  This team facilitates the Community Celebration Event in each city.  This includes adapting the performance of the WorldSmart participants to meet the needs of the community and working with community representatives to incorporate local performance groups into the Community Celebration Event.  This team works closely with the Technical Event Management Team to incorporate images from each city into the program.  This team prepares the group for each event and facilitates the periodic evaluation of these events.


External Relations Team:  This team will facilitate any media interviews that take place while the group is in the city and will be responsible for hosting any VIPs and guests that attend group activities.  Interns on this team will be contact people to coordinate courtesy visits to local, or regional officials.  They will also be responsible for welcoming any visitors to the group.  They will seek out opportunities to educate the local youth on the WorldSmart Leadership Program and host potential students visiting the group.


City Coordination Team: This team will organize the logistics of the group and coordinate the activities of all the other teams.  This team will work with each team to ensure that their needs are met in the city and that the needs of the community are effectively incorporated into the visit.  Students on this team will facilitate group meetings, and communicate to the group any changes that need to take place.  This team serves as liaison between the Local Organizing Committee and the other teams.


Cultural Learning Team:  This team will maintain a focus on facilitating the cross cultural learning within the group; prepping the group for each city’s unique cultural aspects; coordinating presentations of group members on their own unique cultural perspective; maximizing the cultural learning aspect f the program.


Community Impact/Service Learning Team: This team will be coordinating the service learning projects in each city; facilitating the reflection and evaluation of the service learning component in the program; help link the experiences participants are having to all parts of the program, curriculum and community events.


Students will be given general job descriptions for each team but will be at liberty to facilitate the functions of the team how they see fit. The goals of the internship team experience are:


  1. To provide hands on leadership experience for each student.
  2. To provide opportunities for students to work in multicultural teams.
  3. To create an environment that actively engages students in facilitating the program.
  4. To provide the structure for students to reach their individual learning goals.


3.  Community Impact / Service Learning

In each city, students learn about social issues that the community is facing and provide service to that community. For example, students may learn about the tension between the logging industry and conservationists, and then spend a day planting trees with the youth from the community.  The service learning component of the program is headed up by a staff facilitator who is an expert in the field of service learning.  In addition, students work closely with members of the community to help develop meaningful and sustaining change.


4.  Regional Learning

We have carefully selected cities and villages that offer unique and interesting perspectives on the global community.  In each of the cities or villages, we spend time learning about what makes the area unique from a political, historical and social perspective.  In addition, we look at the ways that the area is connected to other cities or villages on the tour.  Creating an understanding of how the various locations are connected is critical to the development of a global perspective. As well as, seeing how each area is unique in the ways that the community operates also inspires an awareness of cultural diversity.


5.  Multicultural Immersion

Students spend the semester in a multicultural group representing more than 20 cultures. Students also live with host families in each city visited, learning about the region through a local perspective.


Typical weekly schedule:

Day of the Week

Type of Day


Travel Day


Direct Instruction Day


Community Impact Day


Community Impact Day


Regional Learning Day/

Community Celebration Event


Personal Day


Host Family Day


Summary of Semester schedule

Upon acceptance into the program, students will receive materials to help them prepare for the semester. 


Online Pre-course.  The February program officially begins on 10 January 2005 with the Online pre-course.


Orientation.  For the February program, students will arrive in Denver to begin the two-week orientation on 29 January 2005.  This part of the program focuses on providing the students the skills necessary for them to be successful in the program including internship and community celebration training.  During both phases of orientation students begin their exposure to the course content of the five communication courses.  The staff facilitators, staff from headquarters, and guest lecturers will facilitate the orientation.


Tour.  Upon completion of the two-week orientation in Denver, students start their one week rotation in each of the tour cities/areas.  Tour from mid February to mid June: 17 cities, 8 countries, one day each week dedicated to class instruction.  All participants travel together to each of the cities.


Online Post-course.  Beginning approximately one week after their arrival home, students complete a two-week online course to help them transition what they have learned back to their communities. 


Locations for February 2005 Tour


North America



Denver, Colorado

City to be decided, Colorado

Boston, Massachusetts

Waterville, Maine

New Britain, Connecticut

Scarborough, Maine

Omura, Nagasaki

Abiko, Chiba

Joyo, Kyoto

Kumamoto, Kumamoto

Aroa, Kumamoto

Uji, Kyoto

Bruxelles, Belgium

Nijmegen, Netherlands

Rostock, Germany

Leipzig, Germany

Luzern, Switzerland

Bologna, Italy




Throughout the program and in every city, students will live with local families.  The home-stay experience is a core component to the learning that will take place during this program and is an opportunity to apply the material we discuss in class instruction.  Students share meals, learn the basics of the language, join in family gatherings, and gain an overall insight into daily life with their host families.  The home-stay experience consistently turns out to be one of the most valuable components of Up with People’s programs.


Supervision and staffing:

Eight to ten staff facilitators travel with the group to facilitate the program as well as provide guidance and counseling to the students.  Each staff member has been selected because of his/her expertise in an area related to the program, i.e. leadership, communication theory, intercultural communication, logistics, and service learning.  Our staff is also expected to have international experience, group travel expertise, and a demonstrated history of community service and leadership development. 


To Apply:

For more detailed copies of the syllabi or if you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to email the WorldSmart Admissions Office at apply@worldsmart.org or call us at 1.303.460.7100 x108.  You may also visit our website at www.worldsmart.org.  


We look forward to hearing from you!