Monday, February 6, 2012

NIU Welcomes Global UGRAD-Pakistan Student

NIU is excited to welcome a new international student from Pakistan as part of the U.S. Department of State's Global Undergraduate Exchange Program. The Global UGRAD-Pakistan program aims to advance youth leadership and promote mutual understanding of cultures by providing a year of study in the US to emerging student leaders from underrepresented sectors of Pakistan.

During their time here, UGRAD-Pakistan students perform community service and explore American traditions in addition to their academic studies. Students develop a more well-rounded perception of American culture, and go on to share their experiences and understandings of the US with friends, family, and others in their communities back home.

They are also "ambassadors" for Pakistan. Their unique perspectives and backgrounds enrich the learning experiences of local students. As well, they will give presentations about their home country and cultures at local schools, Rotary clubs, elderly homes, and other locations. Each student could potentially reach thousands of Americans, whose understandings of Pakistan are often limited.

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the Department of State and is administered by the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX).

The ECA brings together students and professionals from the US and across the world to foster stronger relationships between countries. ECA works with students, educators, artists, athletes, and emerging leaders in many fields in the US and in more than 160 countries. Alumni of the ECA exchange programs comprise more than one million people around the world, including more than 40 Nobel Laureates and more than 300 current or former heads of state and government. For more info about ECA exchanges, visit

IREX is an international nonprofit organization providing thought leadership and innovative programs to promote positive lasting change globally. Founded in 1968, IREX has an annual portfolio of over $60 million and a staff of over 400 professionals worldwide. IREX employs field-tested methods and innovative uses of technologies to develop practical and locally-driven solutions with their partners in over 100 countries. For more info about IREX, visit

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