54 Pakistani students win Global UGRAD scholarships for semester exchange in US

The U.S. government has awarded scholarships to 54 Pakistani undergraduate students, enabling them to embark on a transformative semester-long journey under the Global Undergraduate Exchange (Global UGRAD) Program.

Administered by the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP), this program opens doors for students to enrich their education with a unique non-degree study experience at a U.S. university or college.

The recipients of the prestigious scholarships, representing all four provinces as well as Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and the Islamabad Capital Territory, include an impressive 61% of women from the spring 2024 cohort. This diverse group of students is gearing up for an adventure beyond academics, as they will also engage in volunteer projects in American host communities to strengthen their leadership skills.

Pre-departure orientation held in Islamabad

To prepare these students for their exciting journey, USEFP organized a comprehensive two-day pre-departure orientation in Islamabad. The orientation gave the students essential information about American culture, campus life, visa requirements, and travel guidelines.

United States Minister Counselor for Public Affairs Bettina Malone congratulated the spring 2024 cohort of Pakistani students on securing the scholarship and encouraged them to benefit from their exchange journey.

“Your Global UGRAD experience will be life-changing. Be open, be curious, say yes to opportunities – to join clubs, events, and happenings. Make the most of your time in the United States,” remarked Malone.

USEFP Executive Director Rita Akhtar also congratulated the students. Highlighting the rigorous selection process for this merit-based program, she emphasized that Global UGRAD participants are chosen not only for their academic excellence but also for their potential to bring about positive change in their communities.

“Global UGRAD gives students a chance to engage in community service activities, fostering a spirit of volunteerism. It also provides the opportunity to study at excellent colleges and universities in the United States, building new friendships and mutual understanding between the people of Pakistan and the United States,” said Akhtar.

UGRAD Program

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (also known as the Global UGRAD Program) provides one-semester scholarships to outstanding undergraduate students from around the world for non-degree full-time study combined with community service, professional development, and cultural enrichment.

The Global UGRAD Program, initiated in 2010, has already supported approximately 2,500 participants who now serve as emerging leaders in various fields across Pakistan. These alumni have been recognized with national and international awards for their impactful initiatives in climate change, health, sports, and education.

USEFP, a bi-national commission established in 1950 by the governments of the United States and Pakistan, has been instrumental in promoting mutual understanding between the two nations through educational and cultural exchange programs. Since its inception, over 8,600 Pakistanis and around 950 Americans have participated in USEFP-administered exchange programs

Nuxhat Khurshidhttps://islamabadscene.com
Nuxhat Khurshid is a passionate writer, reader and documentary-maker. She mostly writes on environment, climate change and development issues for Islamabad Scene.

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