WLC - Frequently Asked Questions

Student Eligibility and the Enrollment Process

If you fall into any of the following categories, you can attend the 2019 World Leadership Congress:
  • You attended any of the 75+ HOBY Leadership Seminars held in the United States or around the globe in 2018;
  • You are planning to attend a HOBY Leadership Seminar in 2019;
  • You are an international student between the ages of 15-17, with a conversational proficiency in English and a demonstrated interest in leadership and service;
  • You’ve received a special invitation from HOBY or a HOBY partner organization.

Please note: To ensure a balance of students, HOBY may limit the number of students from a particular category listed above. To ensure your spot, you should plan to enroll early. If none of the above applies to you, please contact us at wlc@hoby.org with your name, current academic year and we’ll be happy to work with you.
The online enrollment process can take up to 40 minutes to complete. You can expedite that by having the following essential information available when you access the online enrollment site:
  • Student contact information (including an accurate email address that is checked regularly)
  • Parent contact information (including an accurate email address)
  • Emergency contact information
  • Current school information including school contact
  • Medical history and information including record of inoculation, medications currently taking and any information on current conditions
You will be able to go back into your registration at a later date and update any additional medication information and ADD travel information.
A student’s final official acceptance can only be confirmed when full payment has been received. You must submit a $100 Non-Refundable deposit upon enrollment to have your registration considered active. Any enrollment received without the required deposit will be moved to the waitlist until a deposit is received. Students are accepted on first-paid, first accepted basis.
Yes. Students registered in a HOBY program must be present for the entire event. If circumstances arise that prevent you from attending the entire WLC, please contact us at wlc@hoby.org. (Please follow up without delay because a cancellation fee may apply.)

Program Expenses

The $1825 registration fee covers all meals, 7 nights’ accommodations, program expenses including materials, entrance fees and any ground transportation during the event including transportation to and from travel gateways to the campus. The registration fee does not cover student travel costs to Chicago, visa or passport expenses, overseas partner costs for delegations, spending money or the optional post-WLC Chicago Tour Program.
HOBY accepts checks and credit cards for payments. A $100 Non-Refundable deposit is required to have a student’s enrollment considered active. Enrollments received without payment will be waitlisted until the deposit is received. HOBY accepted installment payments either through the student’s online registration (directions how to do this are included in auto-email received upon completion of the online enrollment).
Absolutely! As long as the payment is made payable to Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership and indicates the student’s name, we’ll apply that to any outstanding fee balance.
Students will only need money for incidentals during travel (don’t forget luggage fees) and any spending money for the HOBY store or convenience store items. Those students participating in the optional post-WLC Chicago Tour Program should have additional money for incidentals during that program.
Some local HOBY seminars in the US may provide scholarship assistance for students that have attended their programs, if they do, they will announce their scholarship winners at the conclusion of their HOBY Leadership Seminar. HOBY fundraises each year for our WLC Global Scholarship Fund to provide assistance when available. International and domestic students can request a HOBY WLC Scholarship Application by emailing wlc@hoby.org. Please note that scholarship assistance is extremely limited, and will be based on financial need and merit. You are also encouraged to actively fundraise for your program expenses. You can download HOBY’s Student Fundraising Guide here..
HOBY World Leadership Congress Ambassador Enrollment and Cancellations & Policy:
  • Students must submit a $100 Non-Refundable deposit with their registration; any remaining balance due must be paid in full by June 28, 2019.
  • Any cancellations received by May 31, 2019 will receive a registration fee refund minus the $100 deposit and a $250 administrative fee.
  • Any cancellations received by June 28, 2019 will receive a registration fee refund minus the $100 deposit and $500 administrative fee.
  • Any cancellations received after June 28, 2019 will not be eligible for a refund.

Note: Any payments made for waitlisted students that cannot be accommodated due to capacity limitations will receive a full refund.

Travel to Chicago

YES.  We staff the primary travel gateways into Chicago, including:

  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport
    • Alaska Airlines
    • American
    • Delta
    • United** (see below regarding note about unaccompanied minor age requirement)
    • SkyWest
    • Spirit
    • Virgin America
    • West Jet
    • WOWAir
  • Chicago Midway International Airport
    • Southwest
    • Delta
    • Porter Air
  • Chicago Union Station
    • Amtrak
    • MegaBus
    • Greyhound
HOBY will have teams of volunteers situated at the Baggage Claim areas of each airport and the train/bus station to meet incoming students.

We typically have teams onsite at the airports starting at 7 am on arrival day to meet students.
All students should plan to be on campus on Saturday, July 20, 2019 by 3 pm if possible. We understand that travel schedules may limit options, but if flying into Chicago, the recommended arrival window is 7 am – 2 pm.
No, please do not have your child fly as an unaccompanied minor!!

This is very difficult for HOBY, as it requires extra staff and extra time for every student who flies as an unaccompanied minor.

**Most airlines only require an unaccompanied minor ticket for children under 12, HOWEVER, please note that United Airlines REQUIRES this type of ticket for all children age 15 and younger, there is a an extra $150 fee each way and only direct flights are permitted.
We ask that you update your student’s registration record with travel details by July 7, 2019. This allows us to track all inbound student on arrival day and keep the airport teams updated with flight arrivals.

All students should follow the signs throughout the airport directing them to Baggage Claim, that is where HOBY will be stationed in HOBY T-shirts, holding signs identifying themselves.
All students should plan to depart campus by 10 am on July 27, 2019. Transportation to Chicago O’Hare International and Midway International Airports in addition to Union Station will be provided from the Loyola campus. When booking departing flights, we recommend a departure from Chicago anytime between 6 am and 1 pm. Students will be assigned to the appropriate shuttle bus based on their scheduled departure time. We run shuttles every hour between 3 am and 10 am.  Students will be scheduled on the appropriate shuttle based on their departure time (typically a minimum of three hours in advance of their departure to allow for any traffic delay, ticket counter and security backups).

Those students participating in the post-WLC Chicago Tour Program, that program concludes at Noon on Monday. Departure times should be booked between 2 – 6 pm on Monday, July 29, 2019.  Students will be transported to their travel gateway approximately two –three hours in advance of their departure.
No, we do not allow students to drive themselves to the program. Students may be dropped off at campus; fly, take a train or bus to Chicago. They will have a very full week and will be tired at the end of the program and in no condition to drive themselves home at the conclusion of the event.
HOBY cannot give this information out without a parent's consent. Please make sure you check this option on the WLC application, this will allow us to share this information with other students and parents.
Each student who attends the WLC from a country other than the United States is responsible for coordinating his/her own travel arrangements and obtaining all necessary travel documents. Depending on the country of origin, this may include obtaining a passport and non-immigrant visa. HOBY will do its best to assist by contacting the US embassy with an official letter of invitation that validates your trip.Once you have registered and paid in full we will work with you to provide the necessary documentation for your visa application. Please contact us at wlc@hoby.org for assistance.

To see what the travel requirements to visit the US from your country are please visit the US State Department's website by Clicking Here. When using the Visa Wizard, please enter your country, select "Tourism or Visit" for the reason you are travelling to the US and click on the "Find a Visa" Button.

During the WLC

All students will be housed in double rooms in dorms on campus. Each student will have a roommate (no roommate requests can be accepted). Dorm rooms have two beds, two desks, and closets. Floors will be single gender.
No. Linens and towels will be provided by the university, although students may want to bring an extra towel or light blanket with them.
Absolutely! HOBY programs have a minimum of one adult (21 years or older) for every 12 students at all times. Students are never left unattended or allowed to walk across campus, off campus, or any other location involved with the seminar without supervision.
We discourage having parents present during HOBY programs. This encourages the students to find their own voice and step out of their comfort zone. You may have your child call you to check in via their personal cell phone or public phone after the daily program concludes (typically between 10 – 11 pm CST). However, phones must be turned off during all program sessions.

For emergencies, you will receive a contact number to reach HOBY personnel in the advance materials each student will receive.

Parents and family members are invited to attend the WLC Closing Ceremonies Gala (To Be Announced, usually occurs on the Thursday or Friday evening prior to the events completion). We are currently finalizing the location for this event and there will be an option to purchase tickets once this is complete.
This is an instance of “no news is good news” and it means your child is busy and engaged!!

There is a strict no cell-phone rule for all official seminar functions, so students will not have the opportunity to place or receive phone calls. If you don't hear from your child, consider that a good sign that they are busy and taking full advantage of the program.

HOBY will also send Parent Updates via email, at least every other day during the week. We will use the parent email addresses listed in the WLC registration system to send emails, so please include a valid parent email.

Students will be provided with HOBY T-shirts to wear during the program, and dress code is "neat casual" for most of the event. Students will want to bring a "dressier" outfit for the banquet (semi-formal).

Please also note, the following attire is not permitted at any time during HOBY events:
  • strapless/tube tops
  • tops with spaghetti straps
  • tank tops
  • bare midriffs
  • exposure of undergarments
  • short shorts
  • mini-skirts
  • excessively tight clothing
  • clothing with profane or offensive language or graphics
  • torn clothing
  • clothing with holes.
Please note, there are some clothing items every student should PLAN to pack for our community service project:

Long Pants
Close-toe shoes (sneakers or tennis shoes are fine)
Yes. The Loyola University dining hall has multiple options for vegetarians, vegans, religious restrictions, and various allergies. Please make sure this information is indicated in the General Restrictions portion of the online registration form. If the dining hall cannot accommodate a student's needs - we will make special arrangements with off campus vendors.
We try to accommodate as many students as possible and will work with the student and family to make reasonable accommodations, if possible.  Please make sure the Personal Medical History section of the application and especially the section regarding special accommodation is completed accurately so we can assist your child appropriately. Specific questions should be directed to Cheryl Brenn, HOBY’s Chief International Programs Officer at brennc@hoby.org.

To read HOBY's Medical Policy, click here.

Please Note: The post-WLC Tour of Chicago may not be available for all students requiring special accommodations, please feel free to email us at wlc@hoby.org prior to discuss the options available.

After the WLC

YES. HOBY has planned a post-WLC Tour of Chicago for interested students for Saturday, July 27 - Monday, July 29. Students and Tour Chaperones will stay at Loyola University Chicago Water Tower Campus located in Downtown Chicago (1 block from Michigan Avenue) and will take in such Chicago attractions as The Navy Pier, The Shedd Aquarium, The Hancock Tower Observation Deck and other great sites of Chicago. You can register for this program when you complete your registration for the World Leadership Congress. Click Here (soming soon) for more information on the Post-WLC Tour.

Those students participating in the Post-WLC Chicago Tour Program should make their travel plans to depart after 2 pm on Monday, July 29, 2018.
Please direct your questions to wlc@hoby.org



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