ISLAMABAD - Approximately 144 Pakistani undergraduate students received scholarships to study in the United States for one semester under the Global Undergraduate Exchange Programme funded by the US government.

Starting this September, the participants will take undergraduate classes at the leading US colleges and universities, as well as attend service-learning programmes and professional development workshops as part of their academic and cultural immersion in the United States, said a US embassy statement. “The United States has a long tradition of embracing international students. I am confident that you will represent your nation with honour,” said Christopher Fitzgerald, acting deputy chief of mission at an event preparing the scholarship recipients for the exchange.

“When you come back home to Pakistan, I know you will become leaders in your own communities and bring what you learned in the US to those around you.” “The group of students here represents the best of Pakistan,” said the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan Executive Director Rita Akhtar, adding: “They are selected on merit from thousands of applicants from every part of this country; from Tharparkur to Hunza, from Gwadar to Swat.”

Ujala Bashir, a spring 2018 Global UGRAD alumna, shared her exchange journey and how the community service experience at HAVEN in Bozeman, Montana, inspired her to develop a crisis centre for domestic violence survivors in Pakistan. “My greatest accomplishment was when a survivor I had coached on the phone contacted HAVEN to tell me that I had saved her life,” said Ujala.

Since the Global UGRAD Programme launched in 2010, approximately 1,850 Pakistani students have received one-semester scholarships to study in the US.