Aspire High School

Aspire High School is our core program dedicated to outstanding high school students from all over the world. It aims to help them define their academic and professional journey and connect them with mentors who will inspire and challenge them. Members of our alumni community will share their educational experiences and prepare them for successfully navigating the US and UK college admission process.

Our five-day program takes place every July at Ana Hotels in Poiana Brasov. Each and every one of our 45 participants is one of best and brightest high school students from all over the world and is not afraid to challenge himself/herself and strive for excellence. The candidates we are looking for are at the beginning of their academic and professional journey. They need motivation from people of their age, mentors who can guide their future steps, and role-models who can inspire them. Thus, they must demonstrate that they are curious and enthusiastic enough to assimilate the high-level information provided, but, in the same time mature, in order to discern which information is relevant and matches their academic objectives.  In this way, the Aspire experience would be able to unleash their potential and unveil itself as a motivational and inspirational life experience.

Aspire High School is based on four pillars:

  1. Leadership – A mix of Harvard Business School case studies and interactive sessions with leaders from various professional fields.
  2. Academic guidance – Professional university admissions counselling and interactive workshops with successful college students and graduates.
  3. Personal development – Communication and self-development sessions paired with self-awareness team-based projects which offer participants the opportunity to discover the factors that motivate and drive them.
  4. Networking with Aspire Alumni – Workshops and panels on professional and academic guidance with Aspire alumni from all over the world.

A glimpse of the lectures and workshops that make up the program.

Your Academic Journey:

  • Admissions at top universities in the US and UK
  • How to define your college path
  • Writing a stellar college application

Exploring case studies with Ivy League University Instructors:

  • Examining stories of leadership and management
  • Creating an environment for learning and innovation
  • Measuring the success of your team

Engaging with notable speakers across key sectors:

  • Exploring the full potential of social media
  • Discovering how to set goals and how to stay the course of your dreams
  • Social entrepreneurship and the impact you can have on the world

Personal Development and Networking:

  • Introduction to negotiations
  • Understanding the art and science of communication
  • Outdoor team-building competitions

Who are we looking for?

  • You must be enrolled in or on track to graduate high school.
  • 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: Candidates will be in the position to interact with university professors and other real-life professionals, therefore they must be able to engage in debates, conversation and understand the core message. We do not look 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 demonstrate a high level of intellectual curiosity, are committed 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 of alumni!

Our Other Programs

Applications are now closed

The application period for this program will open in February 2020!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application deadline?
We accept application for the early round that come in until Saturday, February 29 th 2020 at 23:59 GMT+2. We also accept applications for the final round that come in until Wednesday, April 15th 2020 at 23:59 GMT+2.
When will Aspire High School take place this year?
The official dates for Aspire High School 2020 are July 22nd – July 26th.
Where are the meetings and courses held?
All events will take place at Ana Hotels in Poiana Brasov, Romania.
What is the cost to attend if I am selected?
The fee for Aspire High School is 400 euros for early phase applications and 500 euros for regular applications. We also provide full and partial scholarships to a number of participants (more details below). The fee covers room and board – i.e. accommodation in a double, shared room and 3 meals/day for the entire duration of the program, as well as all other program-related costs.
Are there any scholarships that Aspire provides?
Yes – we are doing our best to offer some partial and full scholarships to the participants who prove a real need of financial support. Once you receive an offer from us, you will be able to submit an application for financial support. We will then ask you to send us a few documents and to answer some questions in order to support your motivation for requesting the scholarship. Also, If you are from Ukraine, Armenia, the Republic of Moldova or Georgia, then we have some special scholarships for you that cover travel costs, as well as the participation fee. Make sure to mention in the application your citizenship. 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. We do help you with transportation from Bucharest to Poiana Brasov, where the programs take place. As for the rest of the travelling costs, you will have to handle them yourself. 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.
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. 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 generation 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. Candidates must be high-school students exclusively. If you are less than 25 years old, then we encourage you to visit our Aspire Academy page. If you are between 25-30 years old, please consider applying for Aspire Young Professionals.
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

Aspire Program Current Professors and Speakers


Phil Malone

Professor at Stanford, Innovation and Intellectual Property

Sam Potolicchio

Director of Global and Custom Education at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University

Luciana Herman

Lecturer in Public Policy, Stanford University, PhD in the Art of Writing

Steven Jarding

Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Stay tuned to find out!

Aspire Program former Professors and Speakers


Fady Chreih

CEO, Regina Maria

Mihaela Feodorof

Executive Coach and Business Consultant

Don Lothrop

Founder of Romania One

Mariana Gheorghe

CEO of Petrom

Andrei Popescu

Master Training, Dale Carnegie

Lucian Mandruta

Media figure

Anca Harasim

Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bucharest

Roxana Barbulescu

Assistant Professor at HEC Paris

Elisabeta Moraru

Country Manager of Google Romania

Nadia Roumani

Lecturer in Design Thinking at Stanford University