Aspire Academy

Saturday, May 25th, 2024

Aspire Academy is our emblematic program. It is the only leadership and entrepreneurship academy in Romania with courses taught by top Ivy League professors & lecturers, top industry speakers, successful regional CEOs and entrepreneurs. Dedicated to deeply motivated and distinctive students, it is specifically designed to encourage you to pursue your passions and create an energetic, proactive community with common interests and values.

Our eight-day program, three of which represent the start-up sprint, takes place every July in Romania and is dedicated to undergraduate and postgraduate students. For the first time ever, the program will be hosted in the vibrant city of Oradea, known for its rich history and cultural charm. Each and every one of our carefully selected 50 participants is an outstanding individual who is either already or well on their way to affecting change in their community and beyond.

Aspire differentiates itself through elective courses which will allow you to create your own Aspire experience and a personalized curriculum, tailored to your needs and interests.

Our Academy is based on four fundamental pillars:

  1. Leadership – A mix of engaging case studies and interactive sessions with leaders from various professional fields
  2. Personal Development – Communication and self-development sessions paired with self-awareness team-based projects which offer you the opportunity to discover the factors that motivate and drive you
  3. Entrepreneurship – Lectures on how to build a start-up, discussions with the most successful regional entrepreneurs and a business plan competition
  4. Networking with Aspire Alumni – Formal and non-formal networking sessions between the participants themselves, as well as Aspire alumni.

A glimpse of the lectures and workshops led by Ivy League speakers & lecturers at Aspire Academy

  • Authentic Leadership Development
  • Strategic Planning
  • Design Thinking
  • Business and Ethics

Aspire Academy also enables you to engage with notable speakers across key sectors and:

  • Discover how to meticulously set goals and create a plan to achieve them
  • Discuss about the strengths and weaknesses of your leadership style, your professional objectives and what it means to build a successful career
  • Understand entrepreneurship and the positive impact you can have in the world

In addition to lectures and workshops, you will have multiple opportunities to connect and form life-long relationships at Aspire Academy. Below are a couple of examples:

  • Understanding the art and science of communication
  • Discovering leadership through tango
  • Outdoor team-building competitions

Who are we looking for at Aspire Academy?

  • Undergraduate and postgraduate students, under 27 years old.
  • Demonstrated leadership track: You should be genuinely committed to bringing about positive change in your community, school and respective country, be it through entrepreneurship, policy, student clubs, NGOs, sports, or others.
  • Intellectual maturity and academic excellence: We are not looking for candidates with perfect scores, but for those who can prove that progress, ambition and hard work are part of their day-to-day life. Candidates must demonstrate a high level of intellectual curiosity, commitment to learning and discovering, and show passion for a particular field.
  • Emotional maturity: Candidates must be willing to connect with their peers and open up to discussions, debates, and storytelling. They must demonstrate an ability to purposefully engage with others in ways that help foster a climate of mutual understanding and support.
  • Driven personality: Our students show a willingness to go outside their comfort zone, take risks and learn from them. We seek young people who have demonstrated energy and determination during both individual and group projects and assignments.
  • Last but not least, it is imperative that applicants have a strong command of English, as the program is entirely English-based.

If the above elements seem to describe you, we gladly invite you to apply and become part of our amazing community!

Saturday, May 25th, 2024

What is the application deadline?

We accept application for the early phase that come in until Saturday, March 16th 2024 at 23:59 GMT+2. We also accept applications for the regular phase that come in until Saturday, April 13th 2024 at 23:59 GMT+2. The late phase of applications will be accepted until Saturday, May 25th 2024 at 23:59 GMT +2.

When will Aspire Academy take place this year?

The official dates for Aspire Academy 2024 are July 24th – July 31st.

Where are the meetings and courses held?

For the first time ever, the program will be hosted in the city of Oradea.

What is the cost to attend if I am selected?

Early Phase: 700 EUR

Regular Phase: 750 EUR

Late Phase: 800 EUR

The fee covers all program-related costs – workshops and lectures with Ivy League professors, full board (accommodation and meals), personalized materials and many more surprises. We offer full and partial scholarships for ambitious leaders for whom it would be an effort to participate (more details below).

*The full price of the Aspire Academy program is 1600 EUR/ participant, the difference being covered by our partners and supporters.

Are there any scholarships that Aspire provides?

Yes! Our application process is need-blind. We are doing our best to offer partial and full scholarships to all participants who prove a need of financial support. After you go through the application process and receive an offer to join us, you will be able to submit an application for financial support. An interview may be also held, to better understand your motivation for requesting the scholarship and adjust accordingly.

While we are trying to accommodate as many scholarship requests as possible, our external funding is limited and so is our capacity to respond positively to all such applications.

Are travel costs also covered by the Aspire scholarship?

Sadly, at this moment we are not able to cover any costs regarding transport.

However, many of our participants have managed to secure some funding from the Career Centres from their universities and other personal development grants awarded by their universities. We therefore encourage you to check with your university.

Will you help me with my visa?

Yes. The Aspire team provides support to all international students in order for them to get their visa in time. Keep in mind that Romania is a European Union member state. If you are an EU citizen, you do not need a visa to enter Romania. We encourage you to reach out to our team for visa support as soon as you receive a positive offer from our side.

Am I required to attend all sessions?

Yes. We expect our participants to attend all sessions.

What commitments are expected of the alumni?

After the program ends, participants join the ever expanding community of Aspire alumni that is present and active across the globe. Alumni are encouraged to remain involved in the Aspire community in a variety of ways, especially scholarship recipients. These include recruiting and mentoring new participants, promoting Aspire and its programs, becoming part of the organizing team, and sharing their experiences and knowledge with future generations of alumni. They will also be encouraged to stay connected with each other, and provide support to the projects and initiatives pursued by their fellow Aspirers.

Is there an age limit for participants?

Yes. We are selecting undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled in higher education, although please note that postgraduates will occupy fewer places on the program and must be at most 27 years old. If you are over 27 years old and still a student, then we encourage you to visit our Aspire Professionals page. If you are a high school student, then have a look at our Aspire High School program.

I’m interested in the program, but can’t attend this year. How can I receive information about the program in the future?

Please visit our website again when this year’s application period ends. Visit the Home page and follow the instructions to join the notification list!

If I graduated another Aspire program previously, can I apply to another module?

Yes, we encourage you to continue your Aspire journey by following and completing another Aspire program. We believe that the most impactful Aspire journey starts with High School, is followed by Academy, and then by Professionals.

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