Short Programs

Expanding the intellectual growth and leadership development of Africa’s next leaders

ALA offers additional programming dedicated to expanding the intellectual growth and leadership development of Africa’s next leaders. These programs create a challenging and stimulating environment that enables emerging leaders to learn from each other, global change makers, and a team of international educators.

Global Scholars Program

Every year, young students from around the world enroll in our Global Scholars Program (GSP) to engage in social entrepreneurship, design thinking, leadership training, adventure, and cross-cultural exchange, preparing them to create change in Africa and around the world. Each summer on our Johannesburg campus, hundreds of dynamic youth between the ages of 13 and 19 come together to develop as ethical leaders, contribute value to a social venture, experience new people and places, and build lasting friendships.

Students gain tangible skills working with South African entrepreneurs, building leadership skills with peers from all over the world, and exploring the best of what Johannesburg has to offer. GSP is a unique and transformative camp experience.

At the end of each program, participants will return home with skills that are crucial in a world that increasingly calls for creative thinking, entrepreneurship, and innovation in the quest for solutions to complex global issues.

Engage Africa is a three-week (18-day) leadership program with a focus on social entrepreneurship for students: ages 13 – 19.

Our classic summer program takes young leaders on a deep dive into design thinking, leadership training, and cross-cultural exchange, equipping them with the practical skills necessary to be a 21st-century changemaker.

Built around ALA’s signature Entrepreneurial Leadership curriculum and focused on human-centered design thinking, the Engage program teaches teens to understand global challenges and develop context-specific, innovative solutions. Participants practice leadership by working with social ventures, South African entrepreneurs, and community members. They develop skills through team-based challenges while building a global network of peers and discovering the history, beauty, and diversity of Africa. Participants leave with the tools to start their own social and civic ventures.

Explore Africa is a week-and-a-half long (10-day) leadership and service learning program for students ages 13 – 19.

A shorter version of our Engage Africa offering, at GSP Explore, participants take part in service learning projects, strengthen self-awareness, and practice leadership and teamwork skills, preparing them to create positive change in Africa and around the world.

The Explore program helps young leaders unlock their potential as agents of positive change. The curriculum focuses first on self-leadership and believes that self-awareness, confidence, and strong communication skills are essential for effective, ethical leadership.

GSP Explore

10 days

Explore Session 1: 26 June 2024 – 07 July 2024

Explore Session 2: 20 July 2024 – 31 July 2024

Explore Session 3: 20 July 2024 – 31 July 2024


for African residents


for International applicants

GSP Engage

18 days

Engage Session 1: 26 June 2024 – 15 July 2024

Engage Session 2: 27 July 2024 – 15 August 2024


for African residents


for International applicants


Do most participants come alone, or with friends or classmates?
Many of our participants do not know anyone in their GSP cohort before arriving; others come as part of a school group. However, we always welcome students to share their GSP experience with friends, siblings or classmates. Regardless, you’ll leave GSP with new friends from all over the world!
Will I get high school credit for participating in GSP?
Students who attend GSP with a group from their school may receive credit (please contact your school administration). All GSP participants receive a certificate of completion that recognizes community service hours. ALA does not otherwise offer high school credit for GSP.
I've paid my application fee and deposit, what happens next?
Once you have submitted your application along with the $25 application fee, and paid the $500 deposit to reserve your spot, our team in Johannesburg will contact you via email with information, instructions, and everything else you’d need to know.
Can I get a refund if I need to cancel my registration?
You may request a refund or a credit towards another session or season of GSP. All program tuition fees, minus the $500 deposit, are fully refundable before the refund deadline, which is the last calendar day of April. Alternatively, inquire about deferring your registration to the next year with your fees carried over in full. Please refer to our GSP Refund Policy for details.
Can I request to room with a friend?
If you’re coming to GSP with friends, you’ll have lots of time to spend with them. We will match you with a roommate from a different country so you can start building your global network of friends on day one!
Where will I stay on campus?
GSP students will stay in the Nelson Mandela Residence dorm rooms. All residence halls are modern, spacious, well-lit and include modern hall bathrooms, kitchenettes, and common spaces. All dorm rooms and halls are single-gender. To learn more about our campus facilities, click here.

All of our dorm rooms include two single beds, two desks with chairs, and two cupboards/closets for clothes. Participants will have a roommate, sleeping two per room. Each room has lockable windows and a heater for cold nights. Linens and bedding, including towels, are provided.
Will I be able to contact home/my parents during the program?
Yes. While we encourage participants to be fully “present” during GSP (i.e., not texting friends constantly or calling home every day!), we understand wanting to check in with home on occasion. Participants have 24/7 on-campus WiFi access (we cannot guarantee WiFi access when off-campus). As well, there is a campus phone from which students may make calls home. Upon arrival, at the airport, participants may purchase a SIM card in order to call home immediately. Free communication apps such as WhatsApp are an excellent means of staying in touch.

If you live nearby or are visiting, you are welcome to visit campus. Please note that all visitors, including parents, must have prior approval to enter the campus, so please email us at in advance so we can place the names of visitors on our security guest list.
Is the ALA campus safe?
The safety and security of our participants is our number one priority. The ALA campus has a strict access policy and is guarded by a 24-hour security service. Our residence halls are protected by a biometric system, which limits entry only to residents of each hall, and each hall has an emergency fire door, which is permanently armed. There are surveillance cameras, fire extinguishers, and emergency switches in every residence hall and other spaces across campus. To learn more, click here.
I have food allergies/dietary restrictions. Is ALA able to support my needs?
During GSP on-campus meals include vegetarian, vegan, and Halal options. We work with individuals around specific allergies or other dietary restrictions. Please note that our facility is not nut-free or fully kosher. When eating off-campus, we do our best to accommodate individual needs. Specific information is provided in enrolment and medical forms.
What happens if I get sick?
ALA has 24/7 on-campus health staff, including a nurse during regular working hours. Staff manage basic health concerns and can administer certain over-the-counter (OCT) medicines. All other situations are referred to the closest hospital trauma/urgent care facility. Emergency transport is handled by a contracted emergency medical service.
Will my child be picked up and dropped off at the airport?
Yes. You will be greeted at the airport by a GSP team member and transported to campus on an ALA bus. At the end of your program, our team will take you back to the airport and ensure you are safely past the ticket counter and on to security, check-in, and Customs.
Can I drop off/pick up my child at the ALA campus?
Yes. If you live in the area or are on holiday here with your family, you can be dropped off and/or picked up at the ALA campus. You must send us your arrival details, including time and names of all people in the vehicle at least 48 hours in advance.

Chevron Engineering Leadership Program

The Chevron-sponsored African Leadership Academy Engineering Leadership Program (ALA ELP) is designed for highly motivated and talented high school students aged 15 to 18 who are interested in a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

The program seeks to develop future African engineers equipped with leadership skills to lead a change on the continent.

The program has drawn participants from all over the African continent with its curriculum, which is designed to provide these young leaders of tomorrow with the tools and techniques they need to become more effective changemakers, as well as to inspire them to discover and apply solutions.


The program provides a wide range of excursions where participants learn about South Africa’s rich history and cultural heritage while making new networks on the continent. Participants take part in the following activities: Explore Johannesburg, Cultural Night, Country Parade, Group Presentations


The curriculum challenges both participants’ thinking and their skills. Participants are supported by mentors and given an opportunity to practice problem-solving by identifying immediate problems, co-creating relevant and impactful solutions that serve the communities that the problems are situated in, using the power of prototyping to test solutions and receive feedback from industry experts to improve their ideas.


The program supports the participants to tackle the engineering design challenge, they brainstorm, and craft possible solutions, receive and respond to feedback, and, ultimately, present their projects on the final day.


Participants develop the six traits that will empower them to lead today and in the future. In groups, participants practice and develop these key leadership skills through impactful experiential activities and training led by talented educators. Participants practice these skills while building community and networking with peers, mentors as well as professionals who are leaders in the STEM education and industry.

2024 Session Dates

July 1, 2024 to July 12, 2024

Apply now using this link.

The School for Ethics and Global Leadership

A semester-long program for American high school students

The School for Ethics and Global Leadership (SEGL) is an innovative school for 11th graders from the United States and across the world, based in Washington DC. In 2020 SEGL launched SEGL at ALA, which offers students the chance to spend a semester living and learning alongside our two-year Diploma Program students. During their time at ALA, SEGL cohorts are deeply integrated into life at ALA, sharing dorm rooms and attending classes together with ALA students. SEGL students experience South Africa’s rich history and culture, discover the vibrant city of Johannesburg, and build a deeper understanding of the African continent through their interactions with ALA students.

Model African Union

ALA Model African Union (ALAMAU) is a conference designed to provide young leaders with an opportunity to explore the inner workings of the African Union, and to practice international diplomacy by assuming the roles of African leaders.

ALAMAU is a five day conference affording young leaders from secondary schools around the world the opportunity to resolve, in five days of intense brainstorming and negotiations, some of the longest-running and most complicated issues on the continent.

The conference experience is not limited to committee sessions; through keynote presentations by foreign policy experts, a diplomatic roundtable featuring ambassadors from several countries, educational tours to historic sites, and a celebration of cultural diversity through the Cultural Night, delegates experience a highly intellectual, educative, and exciting conference.


March 20-24, 2024

Register for MAU here.

Learn more about MAU 2024 here.