Published: March 10, 2021

Leeds Global Passport virtual program takes students on an international business journey   

Leeds Global Passport Program

Leeds students were met with a tropical scene when they joined the kickoff session of a global virtual speaker series.

“It’s a bright, sunny day here in Cairns,” said adventure tourism expert Ben Woodward while standing in front of eucalyptus trees. “And here in the background is a koala—you might see a little joey peak out of its mum’s pouch during my presentation.”

Woodward was one of two business professionals that spoke with students during the first of a seven-week international speaker series at Leeds: the Global Passport program. With a theme of adventure tourism, the first session gave students insight on the thrills and challenges behind the industry from two businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

“With everything being virtual right now, one of the silver linings is that we’re able to connect with friends and colleagues across the globe,” said Andrea Straccia, Director of Leeds First-Year Experience and Global Programs. “So we’re taking advantage of that and bringing international business experts to our students through this series.”

Over the span of seven weeks, the Global Passport program will provide students with the opportunity to virtually travel the world and glean valuable business knowledge from various industry experts. Each session includes a Q&A with the professionals, and each speaker will present from a different part of the globe—including South Africa, Indonesia, Mexico, France, Portugal and South Korea.

With an impressive lineup of speakers, the program provides a wide array of industry topics and perspectives. Students will learn about everything from international startup expansions to the K-pop entertainment industry, and they will talk with experts from Facebook, Starbucks, Armani Beauty at L'Oréal, and more.

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“We hope that this can continue to whet students’ appetite for all things global until international travel becomes possible again,”

said Straccia.

The Global Passport program is a collaboration between Leeds Global Programs and the First-Year Experience (FYE) team. In addition to gaining international business knowledge, students who participate in the passport program have the opportunity to earn priority enrollment and scholarship money for next year’s First-Year Global Experience (FGX) program, a semester-long course designed for first-year students. (FGX programs were halted this spring due to the global pandemic.)

“FGX is a very distinctive experience for our first-year business students,” said Straccia. “It allows them to learn first-hand about global business through coursework and travel with their class. This can play a critical role in helping them develop a global mindset, which we hope they will continue to cultivate throughout their Leeds experience.”      

Through its many global programs—including seminars, internships, study abroad opportunities and a certificate program—Leeds supports international learning and prepares students to be better, more globally aware business leaders.

Learn more about the First-Year Global Experience at Leeds.