Immigration. Travel. Living.


The International Student Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) in Eurasia and Central Asia is a program of the Division of Educational and Cultural Programs of the United States Department of State.

The Global UGRAD program provides a full scholarship for one academic semester for full-time study in the United States, without a degree or postgraduate diploma. Finalists of the program will study at accredited four-year tertiary institutions and reside in student residences. Finalists will have an opportunity to take an intensive English course if required. (Given the funding available, only 25 percent of successful finalists around the world will be able to take an English Preparatory Course.) Students in preparation for the language course will begin their academic studies under the Global UGRAD program in the spring semester. Further, the program provides for participation in community service, professional development seminars, and cultural events.

Students cannot independently choose a host university to study under the Global UGRAD program and will be placed in the most suitable university, given the student’s academic focus.

Finalists of the Global UGRAD program will have a pre-departure orientation session before leaving for the US, an orientation session upon arrival in the US, and a post-program workshop.

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Purpose of the UGRAD program

  • Promote mutual understanding between people in the United States and other countries.
  • Provide the exchange of academic, cultural, and administrative experience between students from UGRAD countries.
  • To enhance the academic knowledge and professional skills required to achieve academic and career goals.
  • Comprehensive understanding and interaction with US students.
  • Provide an opportunity for students to connect with institutions and society in the United States.
  • To motivate students to take an active role in the life of local and global societies.

The UGRAD program provides full funding and offers

  • Support in obtaining an American J-1 visa
  • Travel fare from hometown to host university in the United States and back
  • Payment of medical expenses due to illness or accident
  • Tuition fees in the USA
  • Payment for accommodation and meals in the USA
  • Monthly scholarship
  • Funds for the purchase of educational literature
  • Ample opportunities for professional growth for graduates of the program
  • Requirements for candidates:
  • students who are already 18 years old;
  • citizens of the UGRAD countries (among the countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan);
  • undergraduate students who study at a public or private accredited university (a prerequisite – after returning from the program, students must have at least one semester before receiving a diploma of higher education);
  • excellent command of English;
  • the opportunity to stay in the United States from August 2019 to January 2020;
  • desire to take an active part in the life of their society;
  • compliance with the requirements of the J-1 visa;
  • permission from a doctor to participate in this program;
  • students are required to return to their home country at the end of the program.

Applications are not accepted from:

  • US citizens and permanent residents;
  • students who are currently studying, living, or working outside their home country;
  • the staff of American missions abroad;
  • family members of American missions and agencies.

The application package for participation in the UGRAD program:

  • Completed online application form;
  • Motivational and thematic essay. (essay questions are indicated in the questionnaire);
  • Copy of the passport;
  • Academic transcripts for years of study at the university with translation into English (the student can attach a self-translated transcript);
  • Two letters of recommendation in English.

To consider an application for UGRAD, applicants must:

– accurately and completely answer each question of the questionnaire and essay, adhering to the specified word limit;

– upload two letters of recommendation with a certified translation into English, if necessary. One of the recommendations should be completed by the student’s teacher or academic mentor at the university of study;

– the second recommendation may be from another teacher, employer, coach, a coordinator from a previous exchange program, or host family. Applicant’s family members and friends cannot provide letters of recommendation;

– download the official academic transcripts for the entire period of study for the undergraduate program with a certified English translation. Grades must be printed on the official letterhead of the university, signed by the dean or equivalent university official, and stamped with the official stamp of the university, if possible;

– upload an official confirmation that the applicant is a university student in the current academic year (if this is not written in the transcript). This document does not need an official translation into English;

– when your application is fully completed and supporting documents uploaded, click “Submit”. After sending, you cannot change the information that you filled out on the questionnaire forms.

– The content of the transcripts and recommendations will be cross-checked with the relevant educational institutions and teachers.

The applicant’s questionnaire must show the individual work of the participant. Plagiarism that betrays the language, thoughts, expressions, and ideas of another author as your work, without proper permission, is not acceptable. Any kind of plagiarism in student profiles or essays is grounds for immediate disqualification from participation in the program.

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