Global UGRAD for the Near East and North Africa

Global UGRAD will provide one-semester scholarships to approximately 245 outstanding undergraduate students from underrepresented sectors of East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, the Near East and North Africa, South and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Western Hemisphere for non-degree, full-time study in the United States. Students will study at accredited four-year U.S. institutions of higher education, receive intensive English language instruction if needed, and engage in community service, professional development workshops, and cultural enrichment activities.

Program Design: 

Global UGRAD participants will be enrolled full time in undergraduate course work at the host institution to allow ample opportunity for substantive interaction with U.S. faculty and student peers, and for exposure to U.S. 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 U.S. peers or in homestays with American families. The program will include a pre-departure orientation at Post, a virtual arrival orientation, and an in-person end-of-program workshop.

All academic fields of study are eligible.  Per J-1 visa regulations, interested applicants in medicine, nursing, veterinary medicine, pharmacology or other clinical fields of study, should be made aware that direct patient care, including animal care, is not permitted, and therefore academic coursework and/or program activities at participating U.S. institutions may be limited.

Students cannot choose their host institution and will be placed at the most appropriate host institution based on students’ academic interests.  Students who are not enrolled in pre-academic English may indicate a preference for a fall or spring semester placement, but final placement will be made by the cooperating organization in conjunction with ECA. This is a non-degree program, so it is the students’ responsibility to check with their home institutions whether any credits accumulated during the Global 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 U.S. Studies field, such as U.S. history, literature, art, or government.

Failure to meet the academic requirements of the university and Global 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.

Pre-Academic English: 

Global UGRAD provides one semester of pre-academic English language training to students, if needed.  (Funding will allow for English pre-ac for approximately 25 percent of all participants worldwide.) Pre-ac English will take place in the fall semester of 2016-2017, and students participating in pre-academic English will commence with the academic portion of the program in the spring semester. English Language Students will also complete 20 hours of community service and participate in professional development workshops during their time on the Global UGRAD Program.


Students must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program in their home country, and must have completed their first year of undergraduate study prior to starting their Global UGRAD Program. Participants must be at least 18 years of age when they begin their Global UGRAD Program in the United States. They must also have at least one semester or an equivalent term to complete at their home institutions upon completion of the Global UGRAD Program.  The Global UGRAD program cannot be the final academic term of a student’s undergraduate study.

Candidates should be highly motivated and demonstrate leadership through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities. Post should make every effort to select a balanced mix of male and female candidates, and to recruit students from non-elite or less-privileged backgrounds, from both rural and urban areas, who have little or no prior experience in the U.S. or elsewhere outside of their home countries

TOEFL Testing:

The preferred TOEFL PBT score is 500 or higher (61 TOEFL IBT) however, pre-academic English Language Training can be provided for selected students with scores of 475 (52 TOEFL IBT)or higher. Posts should consider the number of reserved English Language Training slots (25 percent) when submitting nominations. Vouchers will be provided for nominated students to take the official TOEFL exam and the cooperating agency will provide their institutional code to have scores submitted directly from ETS.

Application Package:

A complete application package includes:

  1. the application
  2. copy of passport bio page
  3. academic transcripts for years of university study (with English translations)
  4. two letters of reference (with English translations),
  5. grade equivalence between local grading system and U.S. grading system
  6. and the official TOEFL report that will go directly to the cooperating agency from ETS.

Application link:


The deadline for receiving the applications is February 1, 2016.