Student Leadership Development

PESI currently sponsors leadership development programs for select students at Tsinghua University and Renmin University.

Each year, at Tsinghua and Renmin, 30 student leaders with a track record of academic excellence and commitment to service are chosen from the freshman class of over 3,000. These students participate in summer programs designed to cultivate social concern for the disadvantaged and cross-cultural competence with a broad worldview:

  1. cultural exchange with American students 
  2. community service and ethnographic research on poverty in rural China
  3. study tour in Hong Kong to learn about the education, business, government, and non-profit sectors of an international city

Special seminars during the school year also provide opportunities for the students to meet accomplished alumni from their respective schools visiting from overseas as well as senior executives from the international community.

Many program alumni consider their leadership program experience a most valuable and unique aspect of their education. PESI hopes to make similar programs available to other key universities in China.

"We learned a lot about Hong Kong - her political, economic, cultural and social development... Through the many speakers, we also got to meet people from a wide range of professions, each with his or her own personality, life experience, and style of communication. We were impressed by their commitment to their vocation, their earnestness and passion, their sense of social responsibility and their compassion for the needy. Their work ethic, their attitude towards life itself, the determination and courage with which they overcome hardship, are all very inspirational."

                                            Wang Sheng, on Hong Kong Study Tour, Summer 2006

"I have learned something about American culture, and some of its differences and similarities with Chinese culture. We were challenged to reflect upon, differentiate, critique and learn from one another's ways of life and thinking. The process has expanded my horizon and understanding of the world. It has also helped me in thinking about my own life."

Wang Feng, on Sino-American Cultural Exchange Program, Summer 2002

"Throughout the trip I kept asking myself: What does equality in education and opportunity mean? ... To be honest, I feel I have received much more than I have given through teaching these rural high school students... The experience has fostered in me a concern for society and compassion for the disadvantaged. This is my biggest gain."

       Guo Na, on Community Service in Rural China, Summer 2004