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Summer Youth Program 2017

Future Leaders Summer Program

PROGRAM DATES: July 14 to Aug. 3, 2024

This unique summer program is designed for high school students to develop problem-solving and diplomacy skills in global affairs, especially as they pertain to the roles of China, the U.S., Pacific and Indo-Pacific region countries including Mexico and India.

In this program, you will participate in role-playing teams using a digital simulation platform. Through guided readings, lectures, discussion and negotiations, you will produce an action plan that emphasizes common-ground solutions in four areas: climate crisis, energy innovation (e.g. renewable energy, electric vehicles, etc.), artificial intelligence and global pandemics.

The program is organized by the 21st Century China Center and the Global Leadership Institute at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy.

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Program at a Glance

  • Game-based approach to tackling global issues
  • Student-centered curriculum that incorporates roleplaying and teambuilding
  • Stimulating classroom environment with award-winning instructors and college students as mentors
  • Experiential learning with exposure to internationally-renowned UC San Diego professors and global experts
  • Visits to world-class labs and research institutions
  • Stay on campus in the UC San Diego dormitories
  • Excursions to San Diego beaches, cultural and historical sites
  • A session with UC San Diego admissions officers
  • Official transcript from UC San Diego with 1 unit of pre-collegiate credit after program completion
  • Needs-based scholarships available


See what our students have to say about their FLSP experience. Click the playlist icon on the to view additional testimonials.


  • Domestic and international students entering 10th-12th grade by Fall 2024
  • Demonstrated English proficiency for international students

Want to learn more? Reach out today.

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Program and Curriculum

The program tackles four critical issues of global importance. During the interactive game play you will learn about the latest scientific research and discoveries that have promoted innovation and influenced global policy decisions in one of the four focus areas: climate crisis, energy innovation, artificial intelligence and global pandemics.

All participants will receive an official transcript certifying one pre-collegiate credit from UC San Diego.

Part of the programming includes site visits to scientific institutes including:

  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the oldest and largest ocean and Earth science research center
  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies, a top research institute in biological sciences
  • Jacobs School of Engineering, one of the Top Ten engineering schools in the nation and the largest engineering school in California
  • Qualcomm Institute, one of the four technology institutes in the UC system to devote to multidisciplinary research and technological innovation
  • San Diego Supercomputer Center, one of the nation’s first supercomputer centers and a leader in data-intensive computing and cyber infrastructure
  • UC San Diego Global Health Institute


Participant surveys conducted before and after previous programs showed that students gained new appreciation for peers from different countries.

This one-of-a-kind summer pre-college program offers students the opportunity to examine the world’s critical issues, build the skills needed to be changemakers in today’s complex world, and to cultivate a sense of purpose.

  • Broaden your network by joining a community of passionate peers who share your interests in social impact and sustainability
  • Building your skills in cross-cultural communication, critical thinking, team building, conflict resolution and leadership
  • Spark your interest in the variety of future career paths in the topic areas

Fun Adventures

Participate and attend social activities and special events that will make your experience unforgettable, including team-building adventures offered by UC San Diego Challenge Course, a visit to Birch Aquarium, a beach party and a hike to the Scripps Coastal Reserve.


Kristen Druker is an award-winning high school teacher and founder of Peace conferencing, a game-based educational experience for youth supported by a simulation platform. She won the Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association for innovative curriculum and was honored as one of the first California State Mentor Teachers.

Guest speakers and renowned scholars from UC San Diego will provide lectures as part of the curriculum. Past lecturers include:

  • Susan Shirk, director emeritus of 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for U.S. policy toward China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia in 1997-2000
  • Lei Guang, So Family Executive Director of 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • Gert Cauwenberghs, Professor of Bioengineering, co-directs the Institute for Neural Computation
  • Ping Liu, Professor of Nanoengineering and the Director of the Sustainable Power and Energy Center at UCSD
  • Joshua Graff Zivin, a professor at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, Pacific Economic Cooperation Chair in International Economic Relations; Director, Cowhey Center on Global Transformation
  • Paul Yu, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, key faculty member at UCSD's Integrated Technologies Laboratory
  • Michael Yip, a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC San Diego, and Director of the Advanced Robotics and Controls Laboratory (ARCLab)
  • Ralph Keeling, a Professor of Geochemistry in the Geosciences Research Division of Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • Robert Schooley, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at UC San Diego School of Medicine

Application and Deadline

Apply now

Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis until the program is full or until the application deadline, whichever is earlier. Applications may be considered after the deadline contingent on space availability.

2024 FLSP Application Rounds
Closing Date Notification Date
Round 1 Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024 Friday, Feb. 9, 2024
Round 2 Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024 Friday, Feb. 23, 2024
Round 3 Wednesday, March 13, 2024 Friday, March 22, 2024
Round 4 Wednesday, April 3, 2024 Friday, April 12, 2024

Tuition and Logistics


 SUMMER 2024

 Application fee




 Room & Board




Note: Students are required to pay a nonrefundable deposit of $500 to secure their seat if accepted into the program. This deposit will be applied to the total program cost.

Arrival: Sunday, July 14

FLSP Administrative and Resident Advising (RA) staff will check in students at the On-campus Housing Hospitality Desk. Students will receive room assignments, keys, and meal cards. Prior to student arrival, RAs will inspect living areas.

  • 4 p.m. Student drop-off / Dormitory Check-in
  • 6 p.m. Group Dinner at Campus Dining Hall
  • 7:30 p.m. Group Introductions and Surveys
    8:30 p.m. Report to Dormitory
  • 10 p.m. Lights Out – no exceptions

Final Day Events: Friday, Aug. 2

FLSP Final Day will be on Friday, Aug. 2, 2024, beginning at 1 p.m. for students, families and friends. A small gathering at the beach with dinner for the students, faculty and staff will follow the ceremony.

  • 1 p.m. Welcome and Introduction
  • 1:30 p.m. Team Presentations
  • 4 p.m. Certificate Presentation and Photos
  • 4:15 p.m. Closing Remarks
  • 4:30 p.m. Refreshments

Departure: Saturday, Aug. 3

FLSP Administrative and Resident Advising (RA) staff will check out students at the On-campus Housing Hospitality Desk.

  • 10 a.m. Free time / Prepare for check-out
  • 12 p.m. Final Meal at Campus Dining Hall
  • 1 p.m. Student pick-up

Cancellation Fees and Refunds

All cancellation requests must be made in writing to Application fees or deposits are nonrefundable. Any tuition paid to the university will be refunded, not including fees and deposits, if processed before the program withdrawal date of May 15, 2024. The university will not refund tuition or room and board for students dismissed from the program or unable to enter the country due to an improper visa.

Program Materials

Program materials will be available for viewing in early January 2024.


CW3E Presents at UCSD’s U.S.-China Future Leaders Summer Program

July 26, 2018 | Center For Western Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E)
GPS’s 21st Century China Center, in partnership with the Global Leadership Institute, hosted high school students on campus for its annual U.S.-China Future Leaders Summer Program

Promoting U.S.-China Cooperation in Global Affairs

Aug. 30, 2017 | By Elaine Wei | The Bishops School 
GPS’s 21st Century China Center, in partnership with the Global Leadership Institute, hosted high school students on campus for its annual U.S.-China Future Leaders Summer Program

Educating the next generation of US-China leaders

 By Anthony King | GPS News
GPS’s 21st Century China Center, in partnership with the Global Leadership Institute, hosted high school students on campus for its inaugural American and Chinese Future Leaders Summer Program


Madison Malowney

“Through the U.S.-China Future Leaders Program, I learned leadership and speech skills, how to peacefully negotiate and gained a global perspective. This program is truly an unforgettable experience filled with laughter, learning and life-long friends.
– Madison Malowney, The Netherlands

Ryan Vincent

"I was accepted to 5 out of the 6 schools I applied, and I think a large part of that was due to my participation in the U.S.-China Future Leaders Summer Program. It changed my perspective not only about the topics we discussed but how I saw the world as a whole."
– Ryan Vincent, sophomore, San Diego

Xiyi Li

It made me more confident in communications and problem solving, which really helps me prepare for college.
– Xiya Li, senior, San Diego/Shanghai