Leadership skills and lifelong friendships formed at FILC 2019

Six SPC students attend the Florida International Leadership Conference

The Florida International Leadership Conference (FILC) brings together Florida’s international students and students who have studied abroad for a weekend of networking and leadership activities. In February 2019, 160 students from colleges and universities across the state attended the FILC 2019 at Camp Cloverleaf in Lake Placid, Florida, and six of those students were from St. Petersburg College.

Students had many opportunities to exchange their culture and experience with each other through team-building and service-learning activities (including a donation drive for homeless children) and social activities like a bonfire, a coffee house, and dances.

Additionally, students had the chance to learn leadership skills and gain more cross-cultural experience, which will benefit them in their future careers . Different leadership styles across cultures were highlighted by passionate speakers on the topic of  “Who you truly are and what you plan for the future.”

Many helpful sessions were offered, with subjects  like “Finding Your True Colors,” “Exploring Leadership Styles and Personality Traits of Successful World Leaders and Figures,” “Researching During Your First Years of College,” “What Would You Do?: Conflict Management in a Cross-Cultural Environment,” “Finding Employment after Graduation: Strategically Searching for a Job as an International Student,” and “Keeping it Real, Establishing yourself as a S.T.A.R!.”

Organizers indicated that their primary objectives for the conference were to help students become more confident and to set meaningful  goals, and these were definitely achieved.

Student Testimonials

Through the experience, students built long-term friendships and memories. Following  are some accounts from the SPC participants at the 2019 Florida International Leadership Conference.

“I am really happy seeing students around the world having an opportunity to stick together and work as a huge professional team. We were not only playing but also learning from each member. The moment when we first saw each other, we were nervous. However, I am pretty sure that all of us had to get over it and left the anxiety behind to be able to speak to a whole group of strange people. I am proud of this action. When it was time to leave, it was hard to form the words “goodbye” and “hope to see each person again at some place around the world in the near future.” We ate, sang, danced, slept, rode on a boat, and had a good time playing basketball together like an enormous family. I have so many pictures, and I will keep this memory forever.”    –Van Le

“The FILC 2019 conference was definitely a memory for life! I met new friends that I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise and learned skills that will be useful upon graduation. I learned how to pitch my international experience to employers and thereby improved my interview skills.” –Peter Nilsson

“This is my second time attending Florida International Leadership Conference, and I can say for certain: FILC is one of the most unforgettable experiences for international students in their college adventure. The first time I attended FILC was in 2018 and I had one of the best experiences as a participant. However, during FILC 2019, I was accepted to participate as a Peer Leader, and that was a really challenging but life-changing experience. Attending FILC as a Peer Leader encourages every leader to develop communication, social, and problem-solving skills, while enjoying the experience of being in a camp with hundreds of international students. I can say, after two different experiences in FILC, this conference is a must for every international student attending a college in Florida.” –Cristian Jacome

“I had the awesome opportunity to serve as a Peer Leader at the 2019 Florida International Leadership Conference. FILC 2018 was a life changing experience for me. I chose to serve as a Peer Leader in 2019 because I wanted to enhance the FILC experience for other students. This leadership conference is unique because its main goal is to celebrate and empower student leaders of different ethnicities and cultures. I was able to sharpen my leadership skills as well as network during the various team-building activities and break-out sessions. I met students from all over the globe, and I left the conference more aware of international issues because of their personal stories. That experience taught me to be a more conscientious global citizen. The conversations I had with my peers were enriching and thought-provoking. I was able to learn a lot about myself as a person and as a leader. I left the FILC 2019 a changed person, ready to explore and be more engaged with the world around me.” –Ronelia Bailey

“I had a great time during the FILC Camp. I’ve learned so much from this event and I actually met a bunch of friends from around the world. Also, I’ve learned how to become a better leader as well as how to get involved with the world as a global citizen.” –Rajchakorn Sam

“FILC is an opportunity for all the international students in Florida to meet each other and learn leadership as well. It gave me a chance to learn the culture from all over the world. I am so glad that I had a chance to join this activity and meet all of these friends.” –Derek Chen

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