Islamabad, July 27 /DNA/ – Approximately 50 Pakistani undergraduate students received scholarships from the American Government to study in the United States for one semester under the Undergraduate Semester Exchange (UGRAD) Program for Pakistan. During their stay in the USA, the students will attend undergraduate classes at 42 colleges and universities, participate in workshops to develop leadership skills, and engage in community service projects.
Before leaving Pakistan, the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) welcomed the students to a two-day pre-departure orientation in Islamabad to learn about campus life, American culture, and visa and travel requirements. The Acting Deputy Chief of Mission from the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad personally greeted the students in the orientation. “The United States has a long tradition of embracing international students,” he noted, and “while it seems obvious that you are gaining a life-changing experience, it is actually a two-way street. We in the United States also gain so much from your examples of hard work and dedication to your studies, as well as your willingness to share Pakistani culture with us.”
The students come from all regions of Pakistan and represent 27 public and private universities. Since the UGRAD Program launched in 2010, approximately 2,391 Pakistani students have previously received this prestigious one-semester scholarships to study in the United States.
USEFP Executive Director Rita Akhtar encouraged the students to take full advantage of the academic, extracurricular, and community service activities available in the United States. “Global UGRADs are selected on merit from thousands of applicants from every part of Pakistan. In many cases, they are the first person from their locality ever to travel to the United States. They spend a semester studying in colleges and universities in parts of the United States where there are very few other Pakistanis, so American students also learn a lot about Pakistan through this exchange. We hope you meet a lot of interesting people on your adventure and that you share your U.S. experiences widely when you come home to Pakistan.”
USEFP is the official U.S. – Pakistan binational Fulbright commission. It was established in 1950 by the governments of Pakistan and the United States, and is one of 49 such commissions throughout the world. Since its inception, more than 9,300 Pakistanis and over 935 Americans have participated in USEFP-managed exchange programs. Its mission is to promote mutual understanding between the people of Pakistan and the people of the United States through educational and cultural exchange programs. For more information, visit www.usefp.org.