As many as 98 Pakistani students have arrived United States to study for one semester under the Global Undergraduate Semester Exchange Program (Global UGRAD), funded by the U.S. government.
The United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan held a pre-departure orientation meeting for these Pakistani undergraduate students who received scholarships, said a press release issued here on Tuesday.
“Study abroad is one the best educational tools for students to gain new skills and a global perspective,” said U.S. Ambassador Paul Jones.
“When you return home, I know you will use your experience and knowledge to help move your communities and country toward a brighter future.” Participants were competitively selected and represent a broad geographic cross-section of Pakistan. Sixty-eight percent of the students are women.
The participants will take undergraduate classes at leading U.S. colleges and universities, as well as engage in community service as part of their academic and cultural immersion in the United States.
“These students represent the best of Pakistan and will be wonderful ambassadors for their country,” said the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) Executive Director Rita Akhtar.
Abdul Salam Mehsood, a Fall 2018 Global UGRAD alumnus, shared how the community service experience inspired him to become a motivational speaker, social activist, and trainer in Pakistan.
“During my program in the United States, I volunteered as an assistant coach. Not only did I want to share my love of soccer with youth in my new community, but I wanted to show others that a person with a disability can still actively and openly take part in society, they can still pursue their goals,” said Abdul Salam.
Since the Global UGRAD Program launched in 2010, approximately 1,970 Pakistani students have received one-semester scholarships to study in the United States. USEFP, a bi-national commission established in 1950 by the governments of Pakistan and the United States, is one of 49 Fulbright Commissions throughout the world.
Since its inception, around 7,500 Pakistanis and more than 900 Americans have participated in USEFP-managed exchange programs. Its mission is to promote mutual understanding between the people of Pakistan and the United States through educational and cultural exchange programs.