Ms. Wan Aifaa Shafia Wan Mohd Sopi, 21 was selected to attend The Global Village for Future Leaders of Business and Industry after deciding to try her luck and sending in her application to join the programme after receiving information about it from a senior.
"I found out about the programme through a senior and decided to join in through online. To be honest I am not sure of the criteria of selection that made me the chosen one. In the application, I was asked a few questions about myself being in the entrepreneurship field and the thought never crossed my mind to be chosen to participate in this programme, "she said.
Ms. Wan Aifaa was indeed fortunate as she also obtained full sponsorship to attend the programme, which would take place from 25 June to 30 July.
"There is full sponsorship and partial sponsorship for this programme. I am very lucky to get the full backing of the American Councils and the Iacocca Institute, at Lehigh University as both the payment of fees and accommodations throughout the programme are fully funded.
"Soon afterwards I was also informed that the flight ticket and all my spending money would be borne by AFS Malaysia," she explained.
Organised by the Iacocca Institute at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, The Global Village for Future Leaders of Business and Industry would provide participants with in-use leadership training, management and cross-cultural experiences designed for young professionals and university students who shared the dream of building a career in business and industrial leadership as well as establishing an active and prolonged global network.
"The courses in this programme will provide fellow participants with a lot of exposure to the world of business and leadership skills. In addition, participants will also get the chance to visit the World Bank, US Capitol, New York Stock Exchange and the United Nations," she said.
According to Ms. Wan Aifaa again, the programme would run for five weeks and participants would be staying at college residence at Lehigh University where they would learn and live together with more than 100 other participants of various cultures from more than 45 countries.
Though excited to be selected to join the programme, she remained nervous because the issue of Islamophobia in the Uncle Sam country.
"This is my second time to the US after participating in a student exchange programme after sitting for my Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) previously. I am extremely happy but at the same time nervous because of the Islamophobia issue which is becoming more common due to several incidents involving individuals associated with radical Islamic group but I hope everything will go about smoothly, without any untoward incidents happening, " said Ms. Wan Aifaa who will leave for the States on 23 June.
Translated by Mahaliza Mahadhir
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