About the Program

The GLOBAL Undergraduate Exchange Program is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. Global UGRAD will provide one-semester scholarships to undergraduate students from underrepresented sectors of East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, the Near East and North Africa, South and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Western Hemisphere for non-degree, full-time study in the United States. Students will study at accredited two and four-year U.S. institutions of higher education, receive intensive English language instruction if needed, and engage in community service, professional development workshops, and cultural enrichment activities.

Global UGRAD participants will be enrolled full time in undergraduate course work at the host institution to allow ample opportunity for substantive interaction with U.S. faculty and student peers, and for exposure to U.S. academic and classroom culture. Host institutions will offer instruction on topics including academic research and writing, critical thinking, time management, note-taking, and studying for and taking tests. Participants will live on-campus with U.S. peers or in homestays with American families.

All academic fields of study are eligible. Per J-1 visa regulations, interested applicants in medicine, nursing, veterinary medicine, pharmacology or other clinical fields of study, should be made aware that direct patient care, including animal care, is not permitted, and therefore academic coursework and/or program activities at participating U.S. institutions may be limited.

Students cannot choose their host institution and will be placed at the most appropriate host institution based on students’ academic interests. This is a non-degree program, so it is the students’ responsibility to check with their home institutions whether any credits accumulated during the UGRAD program will be transferred.

Students will be required to participate in a minimum of twenty hours of community service activities during the program. Students will also be required to enroll in at least one course in a U.S. Studies field, such as U.S. history, literature, art, or government.

Failure to meet the academic requirements of the university and UGRAD program (poor grades, failure to submit assignments or attend class) may result in dismissal from Global UGRAD. Participants must remain in good academic standing with a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Eligibility Requirements

Competition for the GLOBAL UGRAD program is merit-based. Candidates will be considered without respect to race, color, religion, national origin, or gender. Persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The competition is open to anyone who:

  • Is a citizen of Nepal;
  • Is currently enrolled in first-, second-, third-, full-time undergraduate study at the time of application at a registered academic institution in Nepal and is in good academic standing.
  • Part-time students or correspondence students are not eligible;
  • Is between the ages of 18-25;
  • Submits a complete online application with all required documents by the application deadline;
  • Is able to begin the academic exchange program in the United States;
  • Is able to receive and maintain a J-1 visa;
  • Is committed to returning to his/her home country after completion of the program; and
  • Is proficient in spoken and written English at the time of application.

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 participating in academic, training, or research programs in the United States;
  • Individuals currently residing or working outside of their home country;
  • Individuals who will complete his or her undergraduate degree prior to program start date;
  • Individuals who are younger than 18 years old or older than 25 years old prior to program start date;
  • Individuals who have participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored or funded by the U.S. government for a period of more than six weeks and who have not fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement by the time of application;
  • Individuals who have applied for U.S. permanent residency in the past three years;
  • Local employees of the U.S. missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State during the period of their employment and for one year following the termination of employment;
  • Immediate family members of U.S. Department of State employees for a period of one year following the termination of such employment. This provision does not disqualify self-supporting members of families who live apart from their parents;
  • Persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a crime (excluding minor traffic violations); and
  • Current employees of affiliated cooperating agencies/consultants and their immediate family members (spouses, parents, children, and siblings) for a period of one year following the termination of such employment.

The U.S. Department of State and the cooperating agency reserve the right to verify all of the information included in the application. In the event that there is a discrepancy, or information is found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid and the applicant ineligible.

Under the terms of the grant and the laws governing the J-1 visa required for participation in the GLOBAL UGRAD Program, participants must return to their home country immediately upon completion of the program for a period of at least two years. Participants are not eligible for visa extensions under any circumstances. No exceptions will be made.

Applications not meeting the above eligibility requirements will not be forwarded to the selection committee.

Provision of the grant

If selected, the GLOBAL UGRAD Program will cover a participant’s:

  • J-1 visa support;
  • Round-trip coach class travel from participant’s home city to host institution in the United States;
  • Health benefits;
  • Tuition and mandatory university fees (including required books and supplies);
  • Room and board (housing and meals);
  • Settling in allowance;
  • Monthly maintenance allowance; and
  • Other special allowances where applicable.

Selection process and criteria

The GLOBAL UGRAD Program is conducted as a merit-based open competition. After the deadline, all eligible applications will be reviewed by a panel of academic specialists and/or academic exchange specialists. Chosen semi-finalists will be interviewed. All applicants will be notified of their status in spring/summer of that year.

Selection panels will use the following criteria to evaluate applications (not in order of importance):

  • Academic excellence
  • Cross-cultural interest
  • Demonstrated leadership potential
  • Demonstrated proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Flexibility and suitability as an exchange student
  • Commitment to returning to their home country after completion of the program
  • Preference will be given to students that represent disadvantaged and underrepresented communities with no prior experience outside their countries

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