What is Global UGRAD?
The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (Global UGRAD) provides a diverse group of emerging student leaders with a scholarship for one semester of non-degree academic study at a U.S. college or university in their current field of studies. Global UGRAD is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State and aims to recruit participants from underrepresented backgrounds who have not had other opportunities to study in the United States. Successful applicants can expect an in-depth exposure to U.S. society, culture, and academic institutions, as well as opportunities to enhance their professional skills.
Students selected for the Global UGRAD program cannot choose their host institution and will be placed at the most appropriate host institution based on their academic interests. The program has two cohorts, fall cohort taking place between September and December and spring cohort between January and May. Exact program dates vary depending on the academic schedule of the assigned U.S. host university.
All participants will be enrolled for one semester in full-time undergraduate coursework chosen from their host institution’s existing curriculum. Participants will be required to take one, 3-credit U.S. studies course to enhance their understanding of the United States. Participants will live in campus housing facilities with American peers and will be required to participate in 20 hours of community service. There will also be 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 note 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.
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. Please visit the following link for more information on Global UGRAD program: worldlearning.org.
One-semester English language training can be provided prior to the start of the academic studies for a limited number of students whose English ability is lower (be able to score TOEFL IBT 48-60) but otherwise qualified. These students are often from rural provinces, disabled or have other strong extenuating circumstances. English training takes place in fall semesters. For these students who are required to take English training, they would leave Mongolia in the fall semester and would start their academic studies in the spring semester. Their time in the U.S. would therefore be one academic year.
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 transferable to their universities in Mongolia.
Global UGRAD is full scholarship, and the scholarship covers:
- All Transportation Costs: International airfare and domestic travel (including in-country visa-related travels if the candidate resides outside Ulaanbaatar)
- Living and Meals Accommodations: Participants are placed in university housing and are provided with modest meals and incidental expenses allowance
- Health Insurance: Participants are provided with accident and sickness benefit for the duration of their program
- Visa Costs: Visa payment is waived for all U.S. Government sponsored scholarship participants
- Travel Allowance: Participants are provided with small allowance for luggage and other travel-related expenses.
To be eligible, applicants must:
- Be a Mongolian undergraduate student at an accredited university in Mongolia
- Have completed a minimum of one semester of study by January 2024
- Have at least one year remaining in their undergraduate studies at their home institutions upon completion of the Global UGRAD Program
- Be between the ages of 18-24 at the time of the program’s start
- Be proficient in English (be able to score a minimum of TOEFL IBT 48 to be considered. Students who score between 48-60 will be considered for the virtual English Language Training prior to the exchange portion of the program. Students must achieve a minimum score of 61 to be eligible to participate in the exchange portion of the program in the United States)
- Have a GPA of no less than 3.0
- Demonstrate leadership potential through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities
- Preference will be given to those who have had little or no experience in the United States or outside of their home countries. Mongolians holding U.S. green card are not eligible to apply.
- Applicants are required to return directly to their home country after the completion of the program.
How to Apply
In order to apply for the Global UGRAD program, the applicant will follow the steps below:
- Register on the World Learning Student Portal: worldlearning.org
- Complete and submit the online application (please note that all students must be registered with the portal in order to access the online application)
A complete application package includes:
- Complete online application
- Academic transcripts for all years of university study (with English translations)
- Two letters of reference (with English translations)
- The official English test (TOEFL/IBT) report, if available.
Submit the completed application and any supplemental documents via the online portal within the deadline.
Things to remember when filling out an application:
- Application must be completed in English in electronic format.
- Applicants must answer all questions in the application form. Incomplete applications will be deemed technically ineligible. No questions can be left blank. Put N/A if not applicable.
- Application must be typed. Hand-written applications will be disqualified.
- Essays must be your own work reflecting your original thought. Other people’s works/ideas used anywhere in the application must be properly noted.
- Please note any word or character limit for essay portions of the application and give your answers within the limit.
- Two reference letters should be obtained from your high school or university teachers.
- Please note that the reference letters must be in English. If the reference letter is provided in Mongolian, please provide a certified English translation.
- All reference letters must include full contact information of the reference provider including: Full name, title, work address, email address and work and mobile phone numbers
The online application deadline is December 15, 2023. The Embassy will announce application results in January 2024 and will notify all applicants via email. Any inquiries about the program will not be answered via phone. Please direct all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All U.S. Government scholarship programs are merit-based. Although we take into account special circumstances of candidates such as disability, disadvantaged background, or any other notable characteristics, final decision is made based on the candidate’s overall strength as represented by the application quality and interview. We also consider one’s ability to be a cultural ambassador and his/her ability and motivation to give back to the community.
Following are the main steps for selection for the Global UGRAD program:
Technical Screening: This is the initial review to verify the completeness of the applications. During technical screening, we check to see two main things:
- If applications and any required supplemental documents are complete
- If applicants meet all the eligibility requirements
Application Review: After technical screening, all complete applications are then reviewed by an application review committee. During this process, each application gets to be reviewed by a minimum of three people.
Short List: Based on the recommendations of the application review committee, an interview short list is created. Candidates who are included in the short list are then invited for an in-person interview.
Interview: An interview panel consisting of representatives of the U.S. Embassy and other academic professionals interview all short-listed candidates and select finalists to be nominated for the global competition.
Nomination: Finalists selected from the interview are then nominated by the embassy to the Global UGRAD Program Office in Washington D.C. where they will compete with nominations from embassies from around the world.
Final Selection: If selected from the global competition, the candidate is confirmed to participate in the program.
November-December: Scholarship is announced through U.S. Embassy website and social media
December-January: Technical screening, application review, and interview
February-March: Finalists selected and decisions announced
August: Fall semester participants depart to the U.S. to begin their program
January: Spring semester participants depart to the U.S. to begin their program