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LEAD | Leadership through English Advancement and Development

The Leadership through English Advancement and Development program is designed to develop global leadership, improve their attitude toward speaking English in a variety of academic and professional settings, and build cross-cultural competence and confidence. Program participants will experience real-life communication situations in an environment where they build a good rapport with and relationship with instructors, peers and mentors. 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 I-LEAP 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)


  • Professional Communication (90 instruction hours): This course helps students develop real-world English skills while enhancing American cultural competency and cross-cultural communication.
  • Professional Writing (45 instruction hours): This course will enhance the program participants’ ability to use clear language to convey information in a way that is easily understood by the intended audience.
  • Global Leadership Development (45 instruction hours): An intensive exploration of the art of leadership, including the personal qualities, skills and knowledge of a good leader, different leadership styles and how to improve leadership skills.
  • Trends and Culture in America (45 instruction hours): This course aims to increase students’ cultural competency through a better understanding of the events that shaped America’s past and present.
  • American Life Skills Practicum (45 instruction hours, minimum of 30 practicum hours): This component includes a seminar series that focuses on teaching students various aspects of American culture, including topics such as American family life, college life, senior living, volunteerism and American sports culture. The seminars are often paired with local site visits and includes a four day practicum period where students have the opportunity to job shadow or audit MU courses.
  • Cultural and professional site visits (minimum of 30 hours): 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 480/TOEFL IBT 55/TOEIC 550
  • Should have a desire to improve English and develop strong leadership skills.