Global Undergraduate Exchange Program

What is Global UGRAD?

The Global Undergraduate (Global UGRAD) program is a non-degree full-time academic scholarship that allows students to spend one semester at a U.S. university or college taking classes in their current field of studies. Global UGRAD program participants will be enrolled full-time in undergraduate course work at their assigned U.S. host institutions. The program aims to allow student’s ample opportunity for hands-on interaction with U.S. Faculty and student peers and for exposure to U.S. academic and classroom culture. To ensure that students succeed in their new academic environments, host institutions will offer tailored instruction on topics including academic research and writing, critical thinking, time management, note-taking, and studying for and taking tests.

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 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.

The program takes place from January through May. Exact program dates vary depending on the academic schedule of the assigned U.S. host university. Global UGRAD program is announced once a year and funds three to four students each year. 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.

And the program 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.

Ideal candidates for the Global UGRAD program will be highly motivated non-elite or less- privileged undergraduate students from colleges, universities and other institutions of higher education, who demonstrate leadership through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.

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. 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.

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. Please visit the following link for more information on Global UGRAD program: worldlearning.org.

To be eligible, applicants must be:

  1. Be a freshman, sophomore or junior undergraduate student of an accredited university in Mongolia;
  2. Have a GPA of no less than 3.0;
  3. Be proficient in English (Be able to score TOEFL IBT 61 or TOEFL ITP/PBT 500);
  4. Be between the ages of 18-24 at the time of application;
  5. Preference will be given to candidates with limited prior experience in the U.S. Note that Mongolians holding U.S. green card are not eligible to apply.

In order to apply for the Global UGRAD program, the applicant will follow the steps below:

  1. Register on the World Learning Student Portal: worldlearning.org
  2. Complete and submit the online application (Please note that all students must be registered with the portal in order to access the online application.)

The announcement will be available on Embassy’s website.

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.

All U.S. Government scholarship programs are merit-based. Although we take in to 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 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.

December: Program is announced through media and U.S. Embassy website;

December– January: Review of Application and Interview with selected applicants;

February: Finalists are selected and applications submitted to the Educational and Cultural Bureau in Washington DC;

March – April: Finalists are announced by Educational & Cultural Bureau in Washington DC;

June: Pre-departure orientation for pre-academic English students;

July-August: Departure for pre-academic English students;

September: Selected students start an online professional skills building course;

October-November: Fill out medical and other supplemental documents;

December: Pre-departure orientation;

January: All students leave to the U.S.