The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). This international educational and cultural exchange program brings future leaders to the United States to experience the U.S. educational system, enhance their knowledge, and explore U.S. culture and values. It also affords students the opportunity to share their cultures and traditions with people in the United States. Global UGRAD is administered by World Learning on behalf of ECA.
Global UGRAD will provide a select group of approximately 250 students with scholarships for one academic semester of undergraduate, non-degree study in the United States. The scholarship will cover international travel, tuition, room and board, accident/sickness insurance, a small monthly stipend, and funding for books. Global UGRAD is a substantive exchange program designed to expose students to the U.S. educational system, society, and culture. Finalists represent diverse disciplines, from architecture to engineering, biochemistry, literature, and education. A small number of students will also receive additional English language training in the U.S. prior to the start of their academic program. Students will live in university residence halls and will have the opportunity to participate in campus organizations and activities. All students are required to participate in volunteer community service activities and are encouraged to participate in professional development activities as part of the Global UGRAD Program. Exposure to U.S. civil society, as well as the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States, gives the participants a strong example of tolerance in a democratic society.
Since 2008, World Learning has placed and monitored over 2,000 Global UGRAD students at hundreds of colleges and universities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and women's colleges. Participants leave the United States with the tools to become leaders in their professions and communities. Global UGRAD alumni go on to receive Fulbright grants, obtain prestigious international internships, and work in business and government in their home countries.
To promote mutual understanding between people of the United States and other countries.
Provide a fulfilling exchange experience to drive academic, cross-cultural, and leadership competencies for students from Global UGRAD countries. Enhance students' academic knowledge and professional skills needed to pursue long-term academic and career goals. Cultivate students' comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the United States. Facilitate opportunities for students to establish social networks with U.S. host institutions and local communities. Empower students to engage constructively in the civic life of their local and global communities.
Global UGRAD is open to all academic fields of study and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or disability. Competition for the program is highly competitive and merit based. Finalists will be selected on the basis of academic excellence, leadership potential, and their preparedness for study in the United States.
The Global UGRAD Program is open to anyone who is/has:
- over 18 years of age;
- a citizen of a Global UGRAD participating country, currently residing in that country;
- enrolled as an undergraduate in good standing at any accredited university, public or private, and has at least one semester remaining at their home university at the conclusion of the Global UGRAD program;
- completed secondary education in their home country;
- a solid command of written and spoken English (English Language training for some finalists is possible);
- able to begin studies in the United States in August or January (selected participants may not defer to a later date);
- eligible to receive and maintain the U.S. student exchange visa (J-1) required for the program;
- cleared by a physician to participate in the program;
- committed to returning to their home country after the completion of the program.
Individuals in the following circumstances are not eligible for the Global UGRAD Program:
- U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States;
- Individuals currently studying, residing, or working outside of their home country;
- Local employees of the U.S. missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State and/or the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); employees are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment;
- Immediate family members (i.e. spouses and children) of U.S. Department of State and USAID employees; family members are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment;
- Current World Learning employees and their immediate family members.