Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Eurasia and Central Asia (Global ugrad) application instructions icon

Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Eurasia and Central Asia (Global ugrad) application instructions

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Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Eurasia and Central Asia

(Global UGRAD)


Program Overview

Academic Program

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Eurasia and Central Asia (Global UGRAD), a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State, provides opportunities for undergraduate students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan for one year of full-time, non-degree study in the United States. First-year students will attend two-year community colleges and live in campus housing (dormitories) or with American host families. All other students will attend four-year universities and colleges and will live in campus housing (dormitories). Fellows may not choose their U.S. host university/college or community college.

Below are some of the possible fields of study for Global UGRAD. Other fields will also be considered.

  • Accounting

  • Agriculture

  • Anthropology

  • Biology

  • Business

  • Chemistry

  • Computer science

  • Criminal justice

  • Economics

  • Education

  • Engineering

  • Environmental management

  • Geology

  • Hospitality management

  • International relations

  • Journalism

  • Law

  • Mass Communications

  • Physics

  • Political Science

  • Psychology

  • Sociology

  • Urban planning

  • U.S. studies

Professional Training

Community Service: To expose fellows to the principles of community service and social responsibility in the United States, Global UGRAD fellows will be required to perform a minimum of 20 hours of community service to local organizations during their first semester.

Part-Time Internship: Internships provide an essential opportunity for fellows to gain professional experience and skills that can be applied in their future careers in their home countries. Global UGRAD fellows on a full academic year scholarship will be required to intern 40 hours per month during their second semester. Each fellow’s internship must be related to their field of study. Fellows may secure paid internships but most internships will be unpaid.


Technical Eligibility Requirements

Candidates will be considered without respect to race, color, religion, national origin, or gender. Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Competition for the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program is merit-based and open to anyone who:

  • Is a citizen, national or permanent resident qualified to hold a valid passport issued by the country of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan;

  • Is currently residing in one of the following eligible countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan;

  • Is enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at the time of application at a registered academic institution in one of the 12 eligible countries and in good academic standing. All students must return to their home academic institution for a minimum of one full term (semester or year) following the end of the Global UGRAD program. Correspondence students in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan are also eligible to apply;

  • Is between the ages of 18-24 years old at the time of travel to the United States (August-September 2011);

  • Submits a complete original application and two copies with all required documents by the application deadline;

  • Is able to begin the academic exchange program in the United States in the fall of 2011;

  • Is able to receive and maintain a U.S. J-1 visa;

  • Is physically able to complete the program in its entirety;

  • Is committed to returning to their home country after completion of the program;

  • Is proficient in spoken and written English at the time of application.

Individuals in the following circumstances are NOT eligible for the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program:

  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States;

  • Individuals currently participating in academic, training, or research programs in the United States;

  • Individuals currently studying, residing, or working outside the 12 eligible countries;

  • Individuals who have participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored or funded by the U.S. government for a period of more than six weeks and who have not fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement by the time of application;

  • Individuals who have applied for U.S. permanent residency in the past three years;

  • Local employees of the U.S. missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State and/or the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Employees are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment;

  • Immediate family members (i.e. spouses and children) of U.S. Department of State and USAID employees. Family members are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment.

  • Persons arrested for, charged with, or convicted of a crime (excluding minor traffic violations).

Current IREX employees and consultants and their immediate family members (spouses, parents, children, and siblings) are not eligible to apply for any IREX-administered grant programs, either as individuals or as the responsible party representing an institutional applicant.

The U.S. Department of State and IREX reserve the right to verify all of the information included in the application. In the event that there is a discrepancy, or information is found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid and the applicant ineligible.

Under the terms of the grant and the laws governing the J-1 visa required for participation in the Global UGRAD Program, fellows must return to their home country immediately upon completion of the program for a period of at least two years. Fellows are not eligible for visa extensions under any circumstances. No exceptions will be made.

^ Applications not meeting the above technical eligibility requirements will not be forwarded to the selection committee.

Financial Provisions of the Grant

  • J-1 visa support;

  • Round-trip travel from fellow’s home city to host institution in the United States;

  • Accident and sickness coverage;

  • Tuition and mandatory university fees;

  • Room and board (housing and meals);

  • Small incidentals allowance;

  • Limited allowance for books;

  • A wide variety of alumni networking and training opportunities.

Selection Process and Criteria

The Global UGRAD Program is conducted as a merit-based open competition. After the deadline, all eligible applications will be reviewed by a panel of academic specialists. Chosen semi-finalists will be interviewed in their home country by a bi-national committee of U.S. specialists, program alumni, and U.S. Embassy representatives, and must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in early 2011. All applicants will be notified of their status in spring 2011.

Selection panels will use the following criteria to evaluate applications (not in order of importance):

  • Academic excellence;

  • Cross-cultural interest;

  • Demonstrated leadership potential;

  • Proficiency in written and spoken English;

  • Flexibility and suitability as an exchange student;

  • Commitment to returning to their home country after completion of the program;

  • Preference will be given to those applicants living outside capital cities;

  • Preference will be given to students that represent indigenous, disadvantaged, and underrepresented communities with no prior experience outside their countries.


General Application Instructions

  • Submit completed original and two copies of the Global UGRAD 2011-2012 Application and Supplemental Form;

  • Please answer ALL questions on the application in English (except where specified);

  • Include your full, legal name, family name (surname) first as spelled on your international passport (if available). Do not translate name spellings (for example write Mariya and not Mary);

  • Include complete contact information (including index codes for all addresses and city/country codes for all phone and fax numbers). Do not translate street or city names into English, only into the English alphabet (for example, write Prospekt Mira instead of “Peace Avenue”);

  • Do NOT leave a space blank. If a question does not apply to you, enter N/A (not applicable);

  • All forms and supporting materials should be typewritten (if possible) and submitted with the completed application. Handwritten applications must be neatly printed in black ink;

  • Write your full name and country of citizenship in the top right corner of each page.


Supplemental Form

All applicants must include a completed Supplemental Form in addition to the application. Please read and follow ALL instructions carefully in order to have a properly completed application.

The Supplemental Form is one document and includes the following:

  • ^ Additional Questions applicants must provide information about how they heard about the Global UGRAD program, plans to apply for other sponsored educational exchange programs and the size of their home city.

  • Personal Statement A: applicants must describe why they would like to study in the US, past experiences, what they will learn about America, and how the program will help their professional/personal goals.

  • Personal Statement B: applicants must describe their idea of good leadership, who is a good leader and what are their qualities, your past leadership experience, and past experiences interacting with other cultures or persons.

  • Personal Statement C: applicants must introduce themselves to future American roommates and/or host families by describing their interests, hobbies, family, home communities, what they hope to do in the US, and their past accomplishments.

  • IREX Privacy Statement and Application Certification: applicants must read and sign this form in order to verify that they understand IREX’s privacy policy and that they have completed their applications truthfully.

  • Two Recommendation Forms: applicants must have a recommendation completed by two different people for a total of two recommendations. If the recommendation form is completed in a language other the English, there must be an accurate translation, which may be done by the applicant.

  • Additional Course Listings Form. This form is a continuation of question #14 on the application, providing additional space for the applicants to detail university course history. Applicants must list the academic year the course was taken, the course title, and the grade received for the course in order for the form to be completed. If there was no grade for a course, please indicate either “pass” or “fail”. First-year students must list courses from your 12th or final year of secondary school in order for the form to be completed.


if selected to the semifinalist round, applicants must provide the following documentation at the time of their interview:

  • A copy of applicant’s high school diploma with an accurate English translation, which may be done by applicant;

  • A copy of high school transcripts (course list and grades) with an English translation, which may be done by applicant (for first-year students only);

  • A copy of applicant’s university transcript (or academic grade book) in the university language of instruction;

  • Internal passport (if applicable);

  • A copy of applicant’s international passport (if available) or government-issued identification.


Submission Guidelines

The deadline for applications for the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program is 5:00 PM, FRIDAY, JANUARY 14, 2011. Applications may be submitted at any of the IREX offices or representations in Eurasia.

Do not send applications to the IREX office in Washington, DC. Faxed or e-mailed applications will not be accepted. No application will be returned to the applicant after the end of the competition.

^ You must submit the original application and supplemental form and two complete copies for a total of three. Each copy must be clear and readable. Unclear or unreadable copies will not be accepted. Applicants should also keep a copy for their own records. Each copy of the application should be submitted in the following order:

  1. Global UGRAD 2011-2012 Application

  2. Supplemental Form

Each complete application should be stapled. No other form of binding is permitted.

*Free consultations on completing the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program application are available at IREX offices and representations in Eurasia.


^ Global UGRAD in Eurasia & Central Asia Timeline

January 14, 2011: Global UGRAD application deadline.

February-March 2011: Interview committees conduct semifinalist interviews and semifinalists take the TOEFL exam.

April 2011: Finalists and alternates notified.

June-July 2011: General pre-departure orientations.

August 2011: All participants depart for the U.S.


^ Field Descriptions

General descriptions of the previously mentioned Global UGRAD program fields are given below. This information is offered as a reference guide only and individual academic host institution programs of study may differ in course offerings, subspecialties, and academic requirements. In some cases, the degree title may differ as well. For example, fellows applying for International Relations may be placed in a program offering a degree in International Affairs. Each applicant can only choose one field of study, and this field should be the applicant’s chief area of interest.

Unless noted, the following descriptions are adapted from the Princeton Review and can be found at:


Accounting majors learn how to keep financial records of business transactions and how to prepare statements concerning assets, liabilities, and operating results. It's a fairly technical and very numbers- and detail-oriented field that involves economics, the interpretation of financial data, and management skills. Many accountants specialize in auditing, taxes, or consulting.


General programs in Agriculture are broad in scope. Specialty areas include animal science, horticulture, agronomy, and agricultural economics. If you decide to major in Agriculture generally you'll have an endless array of courses to choose from and you can pursue a wealth of well-paying career options in agriculture and agribusiness.


Anthropology is the broad study of humans and human cultures throughout the world and throughout history and prehistory. It is part natural science, part social science, and part humanistic study. Anthropology majors compare and contrast biological, social, and cultural similarities and differences among humans and human societies.

Biology (

Biology is the study of life and living organisms and how they interact with each other and their environment. It examines the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, and distribution of living things. Also, it classifies and describes organisms, their functions, and how species come into existence. Most biological sciences are specialized disciplines. Traditionally, they are grouped by the type of organism being studied: botany, the study of plants; zoology, the study of animals; and microbiology, the study of microorganisms.


A major in business administration/management will get a thorough grounding in the theories and principles of accounting, finance, marketing, economics, statistics, human resources functions, and decision-making. You’ll learn how to budget, organize, plan, hire, direct, control, and otherwise manage various organizations. Count on problem-solving, theorizing, and math-heavy number-crunching, too. This major will also get you thinking about issues such as diversity, ethics, politics, and other dynamics that play a role in every work environment.


Chemistry examines the composition, structure, properties, and reactions of matter, the stuff of the universe. It looks at the way the material world--petroleum, a tree, your hand--is arranged. What are the properties that make water? What do we need to sustain life? How do two chemicals react with each other? These are some of the basic questions a Chemistry major tries to answer. Chemistry majors also gain a greater understanding as to how the physical world operates, and what we can do to improve and advance the way we live and work.

Computer Science (

Computer science is the study and the science of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. It has many sub-fields; some emphasize the computation of specific results (such as computer graphics), while others relate to properties of computational problems (such as computational complexity theory). Still others focus on the challenges in implementing computations. A further subfield, human-computer interaction, focuses on the challenges in making computers and computations useful, usable and universally accessible to people.

Criminal Justice (

Criminal justice is an academic field which examines the actions of the formal social mechanism we call the criminal justice system.  The system is composed of three subsystems: policing /law enforcement agencies, the courts/judiciary, and correctional agencies.  The study of criminal justice requires an examination of the structure and functioning of each of these subsystems, as well as knowledge about the role behavior of the participants. The study of the criminal justice process involves a critical evaluation of how the administration of justice actually operates, raising fundamental questions and examining the perspectives from which solutions to problems might be drawn. The content of criminal justice is interdisciplinary, drawing on theory developed in sociology, law, psychology, political science, and related fields.


Economics is the study of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. More broadly, Economics is the study of how individuals, businesses, governments, and societies choose to spend their time and money, and otherwise allocate their resources. It is also excellent preparation for a future in business, as well as for graduate studies in law, public policy, and international studies.


As an Education major, you’ll learn the skills you need to become an effective and inspirational teacher - someone who has the ability to influence young children and teenagers in life-changing ways. Although much of your coursework will be general Education material, most states require you to choose a specific grade level you’d like to teach. Choices usually include some variation of early childhood education (preschool), primary education (kindergarten through eighth grade), secondary education (ninth through twelfth grade), and special education.


Engineering is the application of science to the optimum conversion of the resources of nature to the uses of humankind. There are various disciplines of Engineering. Electrical engineers design, develop, and test electrical equipment. Aerospace Engineers study aerodynamics, aerospace structures, propulsion, flight mechanics and systems, and vehicle design. Chemical Engineers emphasize the commercial applications of chemical reactions and the harnessing of chemical reactions to produce things people want. Civil engineers work on complex projects which involve many technical, economic, social and environmental factors - the design and construction of bridges, high rise buildings, highways, offshore oil platforms, transit systems.

Environmental Management


Environmental Management provides students with a foundation in environmental rules and regulations. In addition, students are presented concepts reviewing environmental principles, resource use and protection. Students will acquire practical skills related to industrial waste, solid waste and hazardous waste management along with the appropriate techniques, technology and measures for minimizing air, soil and water pollution. Environmental Management programs prepare students for employment in the corporate, industrial, consulting, or regulatory environmental compliance, control, or remediation professions.


Geology is the study of how and why the Earth has evolved. You’ll study natural and artificial environmental processes and learn how those processes should be improved. You’ll study the history of the earth and see how humans have brought about change for better or for worse. Geologists are concerned with the entire physical makeup of the earth, and many specializations are available within the major. No matter what your concentration, you’ll be learning how all aspects of the earth relate to each other.

Hospitality Management

A major in Hospitality - which is alternatively called Hospitality Services, Hospitality Management, and Tourism at various colleges and universities - will prepare you for a career managing hotels, restaurants, and convention centers. Hospitality programs are very professionally oriented in nature. They integrate management theory with practical business knowledge. You’ll also learn quite a bit about basic nutrition and food theory, marketing, statistics, and even geography.

International Relations

International Relations majors study the relationships among countries, governments, peoples, and organizations all around the world. You'll learn about global issues from a variety of perspectives-issues including war, poverty, disease, diplomacy, democracy, trade, economics, and globalization. International Relations is a multi-disciplinary major that draws from politics, history, economics, law, sociology, psychology, philosophy, ethics, and geography. You'll be dealing with foreign cultures, languages, worldviews, and values.


Journalism is a hands-on, professionally oriented major that involves gathering, interpreting, distilling, and reporting information to audiences through a variety of media. Journalism majors learn about every conceivable kind of Journalism (including magazine, newspaper, online journalism, photojournalism, broadcast journalism, and public relations). In addition to specialized training in writing, editing, and reporting, Journalism requires a working knowledge of history, culture, and current events. There will also be discussion on professional ethics and civic responsibility.



Undergraduates who study law in their own country will study in pre-law classes in the US. It usually is a mix of interdisciplinary courses, including courses one might find in a Criminal Justice degree program. Those hoping to become lawyers, paralegals, or legal assistants may find prelaw studies to be a valuable educational concentration. Prelaw courses introduce students to the fundamental basics that found the judicial system. They may discuss, for instance, the order of the courts, constitutional law, civil rights, or law ethics.

Mass Communication

Mass Communication majors investigate the role mass media has played, and continues to play, in American culture. They are analysts and historians, examining everything from 19th Century Harper’s political cartoons to the newest McDonald’s commercial. Given the enormous effect of the media on our daily lives, Mass Communication majors seek out how and why they reflect our social values. They also describe how public policy draws boundaries for Mass Communication.


Physics majors study the exact, fundamental laws of nature. They study the structure of all sizes and kinds of materials and particles - the very universe itself. They also seek to understand and define the properties of energy, temperature, distance, and time, and they try to describe all of these things through mathematical equations. If you major in Physics, you'll study the quest for the underlying logic and the theoretical structure that unifies and explains all the different phenomena of the universe.

Political Science

Political Science is the study of politics and government. It remains central to any classical study of the liberal arts, firmly grounded as it is in the work of Plato and Aristotle. In another sense, because it often deals with current events and sophisticated statistical analysis, Political Science is a cutting-edge area of study. Whether you are analyzing voting patterns in a presidential campaign, the Israeli parliament, or the pros and cons of different systems of government, Political Science is timely, fascinating, and perpetually changing. Political Science majors develop excellent critical thinking and communication skills and, more broadly, an understanding of history and culture. Political Science majors study everything from revolutions to political parties to voting behavior to public policy.


Psychology is the study of the way humans and animals interact and respond to their environment. Psychologists try to discover why certain people react to certain aspects of society and the world at large in a certain way, and from those reactions, they try to deduce something about the biology of our brains and the way the environment influences us. Psychology majors focus on such features of the human mind as learning, cognition, intelligence, motivation, emotion, perception, personality, mental disorders, and the ways in which our individual preferences are inherited from our parents or shaped by our environment.


Sociology is the scientific study of groups of humans. It is the study of collective human behavior and the social forces that influence collective human behavior. Sociologists seek to discover the broad patterns of interaction of social life that influence individual behaviors. Sociology majors learn about how groups, organizations, and societies are structured. You'll study crime and violence, sex and gender, families, health and illness, work and leisure, ethnic relations, religions and cultures, social classes, and communities and cities.

Urban Planning

Urban Planning looks at the way cities are designed, constructed, and planned. Urban Planning majors study the socio-economic factors and conditions behind housing projects in the city while also studying the effect of public transportation in suburban areas. It’s both an analytical and quantitative approach, one that combines policy, statistics, a sense of history, and a lot more. Urban planners help us look at the ways we can improve our neighborhoods, preserving some of the past while keeping an eye open for future improvements.

U.S. Studies

Also known as American Studies, it is the academic analysis of the various movements, cultures, and subcultures of the United States, both past and present. It is the exploration of all things Americana: revolutions, institutions, transformations, religion, race, gender, sexuality, fine arts, popular culture, baseball, apple pie, artifacts, values, customs, ideals, and everyday experience. American Studies is an interdisciplinary field involving history, English, art history, architecture, social sciences, and geography.

Applications are free of charge and may be duplicated

Deadline: 5:00 PM, Friday, January 14, 2011


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