The Tufts Initiative for International Leadership and Perspective (TILIP) is a program that seeks to foster cross-cultural team building through intensive...

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Tufts Initiative for Leadership and International Perspective | TILIP

The Tufts Initiative for International Leadership and Perspective (TILIP) is a program that seeks to foster cross-cultural team building through intensive intellectual inquiry and practical study. Each year delegations of students from the U.S. service academies and universities throughout the world travel to Tufts to attend the annual EPIIC symposium, present their research, and interact with their peers.

The Institute regularly hosts delegations from Bangladesh, Brazil, China, the Gaza Strip, Iraq, Israel, Kurdistan-Iraq, Russia, Rwanda, Singapore and South Korea.

The Institute plans a series of activities designed to intellectually engage the students with the year’s EPIIC theme and encourage informed discussion.  The students share readings, and via e-mail and Skype discuss the annual theme with Tufts students and the other international delegations. In addition to attending the symposium panels, each international delegation prepares a presentation on a designated topic. During one of the evenings of the symposium, there is an informal discussion among the students to allow them to share their perspectives.

The goals of TILIP are to promote cross-cultural interaction, create an open environment for discussion, break down barriers between cultures, and encourage students to educate others about issues in their home countries that are relevant to the theme of the symposium. Through TILIP the Institute helps students look beyond any preconceived notions they may have about others by facilitating thought-provoking discussions about salient topics and encouraging our participants to conduct research together. 

History of TILIP
In 1998, Tufts University, in cooperation with Peking University in Beijing, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the University of Hong Kong, began this unique leadership program. Initially students from all four universities spent the summers in Hong Kong, working in pairs at specifically designed internships and attending the Leadership Lecture Series and a weekly seminar. They also spent ten days in mainland China before returning to their respective universities to plan the annual international symposium held at Tufts University, where they reconvened.

Continuing its work with China, TILIP was re-conceptualized in 2008 to expand its global reach. In past years, TILIP participants have come from countries including Brazil, Canada, China Guatemala, Haiti, India, Iraq, Israel, Rwanda, Singapore, South Africa, and South Korea. For the last two years, more than 90 students from 14 countries have participated in programming around the annual EPIIC symposium and attended and participated in the symposium. This interaction is leading to collaborative research projects, sister organizations, and sponsorship of local research. At Peking University, the students have launched the Peking University International Student Energy Initiative in collaboration with the IG's Tufts Energy Forum and the Institute is currently sponsoring a research project on the Household Registration System in China in Zhengzhou.

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