Gadsden State Community College welcomed three new international students as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan known as Global UGRAD–Pakistan. Joining the Gadsden State family are Hima, Saira and Najeebullah.
The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan builds the capacity of a diverse group of youth leaders from underserved populations across the country. Through U.S.-based training and practical experience in leadership positions, community engagement, and in their professional fields, undergraduate students gain the skills needed to implement long-term civic and economic changes in their communities, building stability through increased local capacity and cross-cultural understanding.
Through semester-long programs of study, exploration of U.S. culture, and integration into U.S. communities, students develop a broad understanding of U.S. values and become citizen ambassadors who support expanded diplomatic and development partnerships. In addition to their academic studies, the students perform community service and explore American traditions through the unique digital Cultural Passport to America program. The Passport program provides students with a framework for comprehensively exploring various aspects of American culture broadly and systematically. While interacting with Americans in the community and on campus, Global UGRAD students develop a more well-rounded perception of American culture. They go on to share this understanding of the U.S. with friends, family, and others in their communities back home.
The students are also serve as “ambassadors” for their native country. Many of them are the only representative of Pakistan on college campuses. Their unique perspectives and backgrounds enrich the learning experience for American students. The students also give presentations about their home country and cultures at local schools, Rotary clubs, retirement homes, and other locations, reaching thousands of Americans each year.
Global UGRAD is a part of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the Department of State and is administered by the International Research & Exchanges (IREX) Board. The ECA fosters mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries to promote friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations as mandated by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchanges Act of 1961.
Since 1992, nearly 4,000 participants have completed the program, increasing diversity on hundreds of campuses throughout the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. ECA exchange program alumni encompass over 1 million people around the world, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and over 350 current and former heads of state and government. For more information about ECA exchanges, visit http://exchanges.state.gov. IREX is an international nonprofit organization providing thought leadership and innovative programs to promote positive lasting change globally. For more information about the program, visit: http://www.irex.org/project/global-undergraduate-exchange-program-pakistan-global-ugrad-pakistan. For information regarding the International Program or Global UGRAD program at Gadsden State, contact Faith Dobbs at 256-549-8446 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTO ID (L. TO R.): Hima, Najeeb and Saira