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I-LEAP | International Leadership, Excellence and Professionalism

The International Leadership, Excellence and Professionalism program is designed to develop globally competent citizens and effective communicators who are well-versed in American business practices. Students will have an opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture and community through an American workplace experience, which will aid their future careers while providing a unique experience to gain confidence, improve professional English and gain transferable skills for their futures. All MITI programs integrate the philosophy of living English to enhance cultural and language skills in a unique way.

This program can be combined with the LEAD program and an intersession project to create a yearlong experience.


Fall semester (late-August through mid-December) or spring semester (late-February through mid-June)


  • American workplace practicum (200 contact hours): In addition to students’ majors and interests, work placements are highly influenced by English fluency, specific professional skill set (if applicable), activeness and any other personality traits that are a good fit for the selected workplace.
  • Professional Communication (40 contact hours): This course is designed to help students become comfortable using English in both professional and personal environments. The main goals of this course are to:
    • Strengthen students’ English speaking skills through activities focused on improving pronunciation, intonation and body language.
    • Provide contextual understanding of new vocabulary and idiomatic expressions.
    • Develop students’ cross-cultural competency and ability to communicate freely in natural English settings.
    • Enhance students’ listening and conversation skills through engagement with podcasts on current issues.
  • Business Skills and Professionalism (30 contact hours): This course helps students navigate life in an American professional environment. Course aims include enhancing the students’ understanding of their personal strengths and weaknesses related to leadership, teamwork and communication in a professional setting and increasing their business knowledge as well as how to apply their skills to their lives back in their home countries.
  • Topical seminars: These seminars will help students adapt to the local area and American culture prior to beginning their work placements.
  • Cultural field trips: During the program, students will go on local cultural excursions and will visit other cities near Columbia, possibly including St. Louis, Kansas City, Hermann, Hannibal and Jefferson City, as well as take part in local festivals and activities.
  • American ambassadors: The program opens doors for students to make meaningful relationships with American college students during their time at MU, with the intent that they will see many perspectives of American culture and return home with a more significant global view.


Apply to this program

  • Must be a current university student (undergraduate or graduate level) or recent graduate.
  • English requirement: TOEFL 500/TOEFL IBT 61/TOEIC 800
  • Should have a desire to improve English and adapt to an American workplace setting.


Lesley Sapp