About the Program

The GLOBAL Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD)  is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State providing one-semester scholarships to undergraduate students from underrepresented sectors for a non-degree, full-time study in the US. Students will study at accredited two and four-year US 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 US faculty and student peers, and for exposure to US 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 US peers or in homestays with American families.

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 US Studies field, such as US 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.


1. When can I apply for this program?

The program competition opens early November/Late December.

2. What are the 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. People with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The competition is open to anyone who:

  • Is a citizen of Nepal
  • Is currently enrolled in first- or second full-time undergraduate study at the time of application at a registered academic institution in Nepal and is in good academic standing.
  • Applicants must have one full year remaining at their home institution after the Global UGRAD Program year.
  • 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 studying, residing, or working outside of their home country;
  • Anyone who has already graduated from university;
  • 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

3. What are the J-1 visa requirements?

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.

4. What are the provisions 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.

5. Do I need to have taken TOEFL to apply for UGRAD?

TOEFL scores are not required at the time of application. If you pass the initial screening then you are required to take the TOEFL test, which is offered free of cost by the Commission.

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