April. 20, 2012
A Shawnee State University student from Pakistan, Maria Najam, recently won the Spring 2012 Cultural Passport to America competition, along with three other UGRAD students from other universities in the United States.
Her passport was selected based on a combination of the variety of activities, the creativity of her passport, and her consistent and descriptive blogging.
Najam and two other students from Pakistan, Muhammad Adil Salim and Umar Farooq Choudhary, won microgrants that will allow them to share their U.S. experience with their communities at home.
The Global UGRAD-Pakistan program aims to advance youth leadership and promote mutual understanding by providing one academic term of non-degree undergraduate U.S. study to on a highly competitive basis to a diverse group of emerging student leaders from under-represented sectors of Pakistan.
In addition to their academic studies, Global UGRAD-Pakistan fellows perform community service and explore American traditions through the unique Cultural Passport to America program. While interacting with Americans in the community and on campus, Global UGRAD-Pakistan fellows 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.
Global UGRAD-Pakistan fellows are also "ambassadors" for Pakistan. Many of them are the only representative of Pakistan on campus. Their unique perspectives and backgrounds enrich the learning experience for American students. Global UGRAD-Pakistan fellows also give presentations about their country and cultures at local schools, Rotary clubs, elderly homes, and other locations, reaching thousands of Americans each year.
The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the Department of State and is administered by the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX).
IREX is an international nonprofit organization providing thought leadership and innovative programs to promote positive lasting change globally. We enable local individuals and institutions to build key elements of a vibrant society: quality education, independent media, and strong communities.