Conference Information &
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Global Health and Leadership Conference
- What is Harvard College VISION: Global Health Society?
- Who attends the Global Health & Leadership Conference?
- What time does the conference begin and end?
- What should I wear?
- Do you provide water bottles?
- Can I waive the conference fee?
- I am not from the U.S. How can I obtain a Visa?
- How do I give a presentation at the conference?
- Is the registration fee refundable?
- Can a family member or friend accompany me?
- Is there anything after the conference?
- Have past attendees been accepted to Harvard College?
- Do you provide lodging?
What is Harvard College VISION: Global Health Society?
Harvard College VISION: Global Health Society is an officially recognized student organization at Harvard College founded in 2014 by Paul Lewis, Harvard Class of 2018. It is run by Harvard Global Health Institute and Harvard College VISION: Global Health Society.Our mission is to tackle global health issues especially optical needs by raising awareness, alleviating preventable blindness, and educating youth. Founded in 2017 by Harvard alumnus Paul Lewis, the Global Health and Leadership Conference at Harvard promotes student engagement with global health topics by bringing together Harvard faculty, students, and guests to educate and mentor high school students. The conference encourages students to tackle issues in their local community by conducting evidence-based, cost-effective interventions that are impactful, sustainable, and reproducible initiatives. The conference hopes to help students make a difference and grow as civically minded leaders for the future.
Who attends the Global Health & Leadership Conference?
- High School Students
- Application not open yet for 2020. Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- College Students
- Contact email@example.com
- Harvard Affiliates
- Free for Harvard ID holders
What time does the conference begin and end?
The conference is from 9:00am to 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday. On-site conference check-in and registration begins at 8:00am on Saturday and Sunday.
What should I wear?
Can I Waive the Conference Fee?
Yes, there is an option within the application to request a waver. Waiving the conference fee does not impact your chance of acceptance.
I am not from the U.S. How can I obtain a Visa?
- First, determine if you qualify under the Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens of some countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business, for 90 days or less, without obtaining a visa. Such travelers would need to apply for and receive a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel. You may read about the Visa Waiver Program and the qualifying countries.
- If you do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program and need to obtain a visa, you may learn about visa procedures here, including information about the visitor visa and an associated DS-160 online nonimmigrant visa applciation.
- Locate your nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate.
- Complete the appropriate electronic visa application that you can print and bring to your visa interview.
How do I give a presentation?
Project Presentations are a special opportunity to share your hard work with your peers. You can receive a Harvard student as a project mentor. You can check out some of the projects of your peers here:
In preparing to create this report and implement their project, students will have to think about the following items:
- Research your global health topic
- Design what an intervention looks like in this topic
- Plan out exactly how you are going to have this intervention
- Implement the project
- Evaluate the successes of the project.
Here are the general guidelines for the presentation:
- Self introduction
- Your topic
- Research behind it (use information from your research)
- How you designed it (use information from your design)
- What was your plan (use information from your plan)
- How did implementation go (use information from your implementation)
- What were the outcomes (use information from your evaluation)
- Anything else you would like to include such as pictures, a video, or time for questions
Is the registration fee refundable?
The conference registration fee is not refundable or transferable, as per the published policy on the conference application. Before submitting their registration, registrants are required to confirm their understanding that the registration is not refundable or transferable. Submission of the registration fee notifies VISION that the registrant plans to attend the conference, and we plan for the comprehensive details associated with their attendance. Via the transaction, VISION makes an agreement with the attendee to coordinate all of the complex logistics that provide them with the opportunity to attend a well-organized, quality conference, including all of their necessary materials and resources: quality conference venues, organized conference sessions with renowned speakers, an electronic conference pass and conference badge, Conference Program Book, and much more. The preparation and provision of these materials and resources are available only to those who register to attend the conference.
It is also important to note that any conference that allows refunds builds in a significant extra administrative fee into every conference ticket. Those conferences also include an additional substantial administrative/processing fee for a refund. The Global Health & Leadership Conference keeps registration rates as low as possible, and the entire Global Health & Leadership Conference registration fee is lower than the refund/cancellation fees of most other conferences.
Can a family member accompany me?
A conference badge is required to enter all conference venues. If you would like someone to accompany you to any conference sessions, they first need to register and pay the associated registration fee. Family members of the high school student can attend for $20 per person.
Is there anything after the conference?
Yes. Students can continue to their community projects or start a VISION chapter.
Have past attendees been accepted to Harvard College?
Yes. Several of our past attendees are current Harvard students (and some even are the volunteers leading it!). We've also had past attendees get into other prestigious institutions like Yale, Stanford, MIT, Brown, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, etc. Such students have said that our program significantly contributed to their applications.
Do you provide lodging?
No. We are willing to help connect to families of students accepted to the conference who live in the Greater Boston Area. We also usually receive a discount at hotels for the weekend.
Through the GHLC, you will have the opportunity to learn from Harvard affiliates about many areas of global health.
Students are paired with a Harvard student mentor to help guide students in creating evidence-based and cost-effective community interventions.
Grow as a
Our students engage with projects that help them develop the confidence and skills that are necessary to be a successful leader.
“Not only was I inspired by all the speakers and stimulated by the peers who attended the conference, but I was also able to make friends and get to know all the great people!”
“I am in awe how others put so much time and effort to into their projects and presentations. I liked how there was a wide variety of topics that my peers chose.”
“It is a globally illuminating experience, and a chance to learn so much from some of the brightest minds out there. I wouldn't miss it for the world!”
“I was delighted to meet outstanding doctors, Harvard undergraduates, and most importantly, other ambitious high school students interested in global health."
"Shigeko Sasamori, one of the only survivors from the Hiroshima bombings in 1945, came to speak about her experiences.”
“I began to really see the impact of mental health. This conference did a wonderful job of talking about less talked about aspects of global health. We can talk about AIDs and Malaria all day, because they are serious issues, but this year disabilities, and war, and mental health were discussed which was really important.”
“I sincerely appreciate the effort this program puts towards helping students who are passionate about global health. The conference opened many doors for individuals all around the world. They have truly been exceptional in responding to all of my questions and have been there to guide me whenever it was needed. They have made it very clear to all of us 'global health people' that they care deeply about the sustainability and success of this program.”
“I feel so encouraged to do more now, I feel inspired from the project that my peers conduct and also what they can become and form into. I feel like I have a huge support, all the speakers were so open to communication and I feel like that is the same in the field.”
Tha Dah Say
“It was interesting focusing on mental health services and the overall inequalities in communities and countries in basic services like water and severe poverty affecting mental health.”
“There is nothing but benefits for someone who attends this conference. Personally, it really opened my eyes and inspired me to start making my own impact.”
“Even though I was only at the conference for a short time, I totally enjoyed it! I also felt the conference is diverse in terms of the different aspects of global health it has reached.”
“Communication is a key aspect of Global health, both when a contagion is spreading and when messages about the latest findings on chronic disease or how to live a healthy lifestyle may resonate.”
“It is a rare opportunity to see what amazing things are possible in the realm of Global Health and that it is truly inspirational to see so many people motivated to do good in the world.”