ISLAMABAD: Female Pakistani students from moderate to low-income households has been asked to apply for Sister2Sister Exchange Program to attend prestigious universities in the United States (US) till December 15.

The program is funded by the United States Department of State and administered by a consortium of partners, including American University, International Education and Resource Network (iEARN-USA). The initiative was a part of Society for International Education (SIE) activities which has been tasked to develop future career opportunities for the women of Pakistan, an official informed.

Moreover, the program will work for developing mentorship programs and connecting young Pakistani women to academic and professional networks for educational and career advancement, he said. The program will cover full tuition fees, two-way travel costs, health insurance, accommodation, visa fee, and free food facilities, enabling high school females to attend prestigious American universities for a period of 12 to 50 days.

Sister2Sister Exchange Program aims to empower Pakistani female college students to overcome cultural limitations that inhibit their participation in pursuing competitive and lucrative careers. These young women will be equipped with the educational and professional skills, confidence, and exposure essential to surmount the socio-cultural impediments inhibiting their entry and retention in the workforce and enable their contribution to Pakistan’s economy.

All the females aged 18-24, who have completed 12 years of education and currently studying in any college, university, or Institute can avail the program. The aspirant having at least 70 percent marks in the last three academic years would be eligible to apply, he said.

The ineligible candidates included the dual US, Pakistani nationals or US permanent residence, the candidates who have already availed any exchange program in the United States in the past two years, students in their final year of university (2nd year in a two-year bachelor’s program and 4th year in a four-year bachelor’s program).

The candidate, fluent in oral and written English, should submit academic transcripts, achievement certificates, and reference letters along with the application by December 15 to the link given on the website, the official said.

Students would have an opportunity to explore additional career pathways by studying medicine, international affairs, gender studies, and pharmacy along with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) topics at top U.S. universities, he informed.

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